Dental implants have fast become the ‘go-to’ solution for replacing missing teeth and look, function, and feel just like real teeth. They are the ideal treatment for people looking to restore their smile and by default – their confidence.
Moreover, because they are versatile, they can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or entire arches of teeth.
If you’re wondering whether to invest in dental implants and are considering whether an implant-based restoration is worth it, here’s what you need to know about the longevity of a tooth implant.
Firstly, how long do teeth implants last?
Dental implants – or rather, the titanium posts inserted into the jawbone – are designed to last for many decades. The dental crown, however – that is, the visible part of the implant that mimics your natural tooth – is likely to need replacing every 10 to 15 years.
Ultimately, your dentist should have a good understanding of your oral situation and will be able to give you a more accurate answer relating to the longevity of your tooth implants.
If you are considering whether dental implants are a worthwhile investment, this quick guide explains more about their longevity and what you can do as an implant patient to get the best out of them.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last – Factors That Can Impact On Their Lifespan
Firstly, dental implant surgery
To ensure your implants last as long as possible, it’s important to choose an experienced and reputable dentist – one that is skilled in dental implant surgery to perform your restoration.
So why is this key…
Because typically, each patient and each case is different. An experienced dentist, therefore, should have the skills and the knowledge to know exactly what to do in any given situation to ensure the very best outcomes.
With this in mind, you might want to be wary of any dentist offering cut-price treatments as this can either mean that…
- They are new to fitting dental implants and therefore have little experience in dental implant surgery and feel that the best way they can compete is on price. Or..
- They are using inferior or sub-par implants that don’t have the brand longevity and clinical recognition that other established dental implant brands have.
Either way, by not considering your dental implant dentist properly, you run the risk of compromising the shelf life of your newly placed implant restorations.
So now you know what to look for in an implant dentist, there are several factors that you yourself can control which also have an impact on how long a tooth implant will last. Let’s take a closer look at these…
Following post-op instructions
Following post-op instructions are critical to the success of your dental implants. Be prepared to adapt your diet to soft foods for a few weeks and avoid alcohol for the first few days after surgery. More importantly, infection is the No.1 enemy of a dental implant, so it’s vital to keep your mouth healthy at all times.
The integrity of your jawbone
Anything that affects the integrity of your jawbone poses a threat to your dental implants. Potential issues include infections such as gum disease, periodontitis and mouth injuries. This is why your implant dentist should look to clear up any issues first before any dental implants are placed.
In order to maintain optimum oral health after surgery, It’s vital to brush and floss your implants and your natural teeth to remove plaque that may otherwise cause problems including receding gums, bone deterioration, and the loss of an implant.
It’s also imperative to wear a mouthguard to prevent damage to your mouth and teeth when playing contact sports.
Placement of the implant
You should also be aware that the location of the implant in your mouth can also affect its lifespan since this will determine the level of stress your crown has to endure on a daily basis. If, for instance, your implant replaces a molar, it will be under more force from chewing and grinding than say, an incisor.
A person’s lifestyle choices can also affect the longevity of dental implants. Smoking and alcohol weaken the body’s immune system, making it easier for bacteria to thrive in the mouth. When this happens, it can cause dental issues such as gum disease and periodontitis.
A word about smoking…
Tobacco smoke not only carries harmful bacteria but in addition, nicotine is known to slow the growth of bone. As the dental implant process relies heavily upon the bone fusion process for success, it stands to reason that smoking isn’t good for dental implant longevity.
As such, a smoker will need to refrain from smoking for several months before, during, and after dental implant surgery, to give any implant-based restoration the best chance of success.
How you use your implant teeth?
As well as caring for dental implants with regular brushing, flossing and dental check-ups, a patient should avoid biting down on materials other than food. Biting down on pen tops, chewing ice cubes, and sub-consciously grinding teeth, can all be problematic for implants and can easily chip or fracture a dental crown.
As you can see, there is no one size fits all answer to the question “how long do implants last? Instead, after choosing the right dental implant dentist, longevity is primarily down to you.
If you can focus on practising good oral hygiene, take regular trips to the dentist and protect your mouth during sporting activities, you stand a good chance of your dental implants lasting for several decades or more.
If you’d like to see whether you’re a suitable candidate for teeth implants and how they can benefit you, why not book a consultation with our friendly experienced team at DDSS/DDII today.