How Long Do Dental Implants Last
Dental implants are designed to last you a lifetime. They’re a permanent solution for people who need them, whether to treat a medical condition or for aesthetic purposes.
When a patient gets a dental implant, the implant fuses into the jawbone, bonding with the surrounding bones – a process known as osseointegration. Once this fusing process is complete, the implant and the surrounding bones will practically be one.
As a result, a dental implant acts as an artificial tooth root, forming a firm foundation for a replacement tooth. The implant is designed to be permanent. However, the crown that goes on top of the implant isn’t as durable.
Typically, the crown of an artificial implant tooth should last up to 15 years. Nonetheless, not every implant lasts as long – specific factors affect how long a dental implant will last.
Factors that Affect the Lifespan of a Dental Implant
Whether you’re worried about your implant’s longevity or want to know how to make them last longer before you get them installed, this article is for you. Below is a list of factors our dentists in North York share with all our dental implant patients to help them maintain their implants for longer.
Poor Oral Hygiene
While implants are artificial teeth, they require as much oral care and hygiene as our natural teeth do. The last thing you want is to keep losing your implants and having to go for a replacement sooner than you should.
If you let plaque build up on your teeth, you run the risk of contracting gum disease, which can cause extensive gum and bone damage. Plaque can also build up on dental implants and cause a condition known as peri-implant disease.
While you can reverse the disease if you catch it early, leaving it untreated progresses the disease to what’s called peri-implantitis. Eventually, this progressive condition will make your implants fail.
So, how do you maintain good oral hygiene?
- Brush after every meal – or at least twice a day (in the morning and before going to bed)
- Floss daily
- Moderate how much sugary food you consume
- Go for regular dental checkups (every six months)
Inadequate Jaw Bone
One of the only ways an implant will last you as long as it should is if there is enough bone to stabilize it and keep it firmly anchored in place. If your jawbone is not sufficient to anchor down an implant, there is a high likelihood that the implant will fail.
The good news is that our Dentist in North York doesn’t just book you for dental implants without conducting a thorough exam to determine if dental implants are an option for you. Part of that examination includes using X-rays and 3D modeling to determine how solid and sufficient your bone is to host an implant.
If tests show that the present bone is insufficient for an implant, multiple interventions can strengthen the bone. Grafting and sinus lifting are some of the options patients can consider.
Even so, implants may fail due to other bone diseases that might not be present or advanced during the implant procedure. It’s common for people with implants to lose them later in life due to contracting a bone disease such as osteoporosis.
Smoking harms your body in more ways than one. Other than staining teeth, smoking can also cause gum disease and tooth loss on its own. So, if you’ve already lost some and have a dental implant in place, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by quitting smoking altogether.
According to research, smokers are twice as likely to lose their implants sooner than non smokers. Smoking impedes blood flow to dental implants, which has a negative impact on healing time and osseointegration.
While oral hygiene is a significant reason why dental implants fail, many also fail due to diseases such as:
- Cardiovascular disorders (congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis)
- Autoimmune disorders
- Bleeding disorders
An Inexperienced Dentist
Unfortunately, not every doctor who claims to know how to do a procedure like dental implants is competent. If you need a competent Dentist North York, get in touch with our team.
Position of the Implant
The longevity of a dental implant is also affected by its location. Different teeth have different functions. Some are crucial for chewing, eating and biting, while others don’t get worked as much.
For instance, often, front teeth are only used to bite. On the other hand, back teeth have the bulk of the work cut out for them as they’re used to chewing, which means they are under more pressure.
So, dental implants in the back of the mouth are most likely to fail due to the workload they have to process. Conditions such as bruxism – grinding of teeth – can also put excessive pressure on implants and interfere with the healing process.
Eventually, when a patient is a constant teeth grinder, they might cause the crown of the implant to chip, crack, or prevent the implant from healing and fusing with the bone properly.
Interventions for Failed Implants
The most important step to take when you realize your dental implant might be failing is to book an appointment with your dentist. Below are some of the symptoms that should alert you that your implant might need a checkup:
- A moving implant
- Pain when you chew or bite
- Bleeding, swelling, receding gums, redness, or pus in the implant area
When an implant is determined to be failing, there’s only one possible remedy – removal. While you can always get the implant replaced – with a 71% success rate according to research – the viability of this option will depend on the cause of the failure.
For instance, replacing an implant that failed due to wrong positioning in the first place might be easier. However, if the reason for the failure is advanced such as extreme bone loss, you might need a bone graft before trying to replace the implant.
The best way to prevent a professionally implanted dental implant is to observe healthy oral hygiene and have regular checkups. However, in the event that your implant fails, you can always go for treatment options like:
- Dental bridges
Whether you’re looking to replace damaged or missing teeth, dental implants are an excellent option.
Not only do they help you retain a smile that looks natural, but dental implants also increase comfort and can increase your self-esteem and confidence. Do you have missing or damaged teeth and want to find out your best options to rejuvenate that smile? Contact our team today.
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