Lifespan of a Dental Implant
When a patient in considering dental implants, they often want to know how long the implant is expected to last. The longevity of implants is an important factor when reviewing your tooth-replacement options. When patients practice good oral hygiene and properly care for their implants, they can last for 25 years or more.
Dental implants are a popular solution used to replace missing teeth for adults. They are considered to be a permanent solution, providing patients with the function and appearance of natural teeth. The first step of placing an implant includes a surgical procedure of placing the implant directly into the jawbone. Implants are maintained and cleaned similarly to the natural teeth.
Implants include three main parts which include the following:
- Implant post
- Crown or prosthetic tooth
The implant post is a small screw-like device which is typically created from titanium. The implant is surgically placed directly into the jawbone and mimics the root of the natural teeth. The abutment is a prosthetic piece that attaches to the implant and sits above the gums. The abutment connects the crown to the implant base. The crown is the prosthetic portion of an implant that gives it the appearance of being a natural tooth. Crowns are often created from porcelain and other types of materials and are custom-made for each patient.
Implant Pros & Cons
While implants provide patients with numerous benefits, they also have a few disadvantages. Many of the disadvantages are considered possible side effects and can vary for each patient and the types of dental implants being used.
The following are key benefits of dental implants:
- Improved smile and physical appearance, enhancing the patient’s confidence
- Restored speech
- Comfortable to wear, nearly undetectable from the natural teeth
- No dietary restrictions
- Improved oral health
- Permanent and long life expectancy
Disadvantages of implants include:
- Risk of incorrect placement
- Potential for post-surgery infection
- Possibility of implant damage or failure
While the lists above highlight key benefits and disadvantages associated with implants, patients should follow up with their dentist to determine if they are a good candidate for implants. Dental implants provide patients with numerous benefits. Implants are known for being convenient and having a long lifespan. , patients can expect to enjoy. The following are additional benefits associated with implants.
Dental implants are instrumental in preserving the patient’s jawbone and facial structure. When a patient has missing teeth, there is an uneven distribution of pressure on the teeth, gums, and jawbone. This can result in damage over time. In addition, when a patient is missing a tooth, the jawbone can resorb due to the lack of stimulation. Implants prevent this from occurring as they mimic the root of the tooth.
Implants ensure there is an even distribution of pressure which prevents damage and protects the remaining natural teeth. Implants also aid in proper chewing and speaking clearly.
One of the biggest challenges with missing teeth is the negative impact is has on a patient’s smile. Implants help to restore confidence through helping patients achieve an attractive smile. When a patient is missing their teeth, they are often self-conscious and avoid smiling or even talking in social settings.
Another major benefit of implants is that they are relatively easy to clean and maintain. Contrary to traditional dentures, they do not require daily removal or special products for cleaning. Care for implants is similar to the natural teeth with twice daily brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist. Implants are known for being easy to clean and maintain.
As with most dental procedures, the cost for dental implants can vary based on numerous factors. While they may be more expensive up front, dental implant are quite cost-effective over time. Compared to dentures and bridges, they last longer and require far less maintenance over time.
Other solutions which can be used for the replacement of missing teeth include the following:
Bridges and crowns are both prosthetic solutions which fill the empty space between the teeth. Dentures are a removable device which rest on the gums.
Comparing Implants to Other Options
Every patient has unique needs, however the benefits associated with implants typically far outweigh any alternative solution. Below are a few examples of how implants compare to other options:
- Implants are incredibly stable and do not slip or move like dentures
- Implants do not require dietary restrictions or food limitations
- Implants last longer than other tooth-replacement options
- Implants can act as a secure base for other dental work such as dentures
- Implants are far more convenient and comfortable than other options
- Over time, dental implant are relatively affordable
Although it can vary, patients can expect dental implants to last about 25 years when they are properly cared for. Factors which can impact the lifespan of an implant include the following:
- Practicing good oral hygiene
- Consuming a healthy diet
- Lifestyle choices such as not smoking
- Location of the implant
- Dentist selected to perform the work
When patients are disciplined with their oral hygiene regimen, they will extend the lifespan of their implants. Good oral hygiene includes twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and regular visits to the dentist. It is also critical to work with a dentist who is qualified and has the necessary training for placing implants.
There are a variety of reasons which can cause dental implants to fail. Some of the most common reasons for failure are highlighted below.
Wear and Tear
When a patient places extreme wear on their teeth or mouth, it can minimize the lifespan of the implant. This often includes activities such as using the teeth to open things or chewing on items which are not intended for chewing. It is more common for implants in the back of the mouth to fail to those placed in the front. This is the case even when the implant endures regular use and is caused by pressure from chewing and eating.
In some cases, the patient will grind their teeth at night, which can cause damage to the implant. If this is the case, the patient should work with their dentist to obtain a night guard to protect their implants and natural teeth alike.
Unhealthy habits such as excessive smoking and consumption of large amounts of alcohol can cause issues. These habits can especially result in damage to the mouth and teeth, which includes implants.
Some types of medical conditions and diseases can also reduce the lifespan of an implant. Some of the most common diseases which cause issues to the teeth include:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Gum disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Some medications can also cause issues with implants increase their rates of failure. Work with your dentist to ensure your lifestyle and will accommodate implants.