Dental Implants | How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants are a long-term solution to fixing a tooth that is too weak to stand alone. This procedure is also useful in replacing a tooth that is no longer there. It is an artificial root which is usually made up of titanium. It must be surgically inserted into the jawbone so that it becomes like a real tooth and root. It is superior to dentures in that it acts very much like the real thing. Expertise and planning are important in placing implants. This procedure includes surgery to restore the tooth in its entire original likeness.
Fortunately, this makes it more aesthetically pleasing but most importantly strong for everyday use. There is an art and science to dental implants as one size does not fit all. This solution to missing or extremely unhealthy teeth is meant to last a long time and maybe even a lifetime.
Proper care and maintenance For Implants
Proper care and maintenance must be followed once you get dental implants to prolong the lifespan of them. If not, they will be altered and compromised in their integrity. Some of the factors that contribute to how long dental implants last are oral hygiene, bone health, lifestyle factors and bite or occlusion. This solution to replacing teeth is not one size fits all but overall, the success rate is high.
Oral hygiene is one of the most important factors for keeping all your teeth healthy and does not only apply if you have dental implants. Brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time is key. You should apply different techniques as well. Brush in circles, up and down and back and forth. Remember to include the sides of your mouth and tongue for most thorough cleaning. You can use a manual or motorized brush.
Flossing at least once a day is also recommended along with mouthwash rinses. The key is to keep your mouth clean and free from bacteria which causes decay. Gum disease and peri-implantitis will ultimately ruin the implant if oral hygiene is not kept in check. Regular dental checkups are imperative too. The only reliable way to be sure that everything looks healthy and on track to making the dental implants last a lifetime is by visiting your dentist regularly.
What is Bone Health?
Bone Health is the next factor that affects the integration and longevity of the implant. The jawbone directly surrounding the implant affects this. For an implant to be successful it must be anchored into the jawbone by use of an artificial root made of titanium. If the bone is not healthy and strong to hold this screw it will not be secure. Bone density is a key factor in determining the success of the implant.
There needs to be strong bone support surrounding the implant for it to last a long time. Without strong dense bone, the implant becomes unstable. There are some conditions that impact the bone strength and density which directly affects how successful an implant is. Osteoporosis is the main one. This disease is characterized by bone mineral and bone mass loss. The structure and strength of the bone lessens with this condition.
Essentially when new bone growth cannot keep up with old bone loss there becomes a deficit and osteoporosis sets in. When the bone is not strong or dense enough to support the implant, there is a higher risk to the implant being compromised.
Your Lifestyle can affect dental implants
Lifestyle factors such as habits and choices can also affect the success and lifespan of an implant. The top ones are smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, inadequate nutrition and even lack of good quality and quantity of sleep. These all directly affect the success of the implant and how long it lasts.
Bite and occlusion are the next factors that affect the lifespan of the dental implant. When the teeth are properly aligned there is less excessive force putting stress on every bite when using your implants to chew food. The integrity of the implant including the support in the jawbone is affected if the bite is misaligned or out of balance. Regular check ups with your dentist are important to keep teeth aligned and balanced.
How to Keep your Implant Healthy
If you already have a dental implant there are factors to consider in keeping the implant and surrounding area healthy and strong. Regular oral hygiene is the number one factor. If you don’t follow the suggestions mentioned earlier you can develop peri-implantitis which is like gum disease around the implant site. This causes inflammation, bone loss, implant insecurity and eventually failure of t he implant. Keeping your mouth free of infection during and after the implant is placed is imperative to the success of the implant.
Get rid of infections quickly
If you develop an infection treat it immediately. Avoid smoking to help give your implant a chance to heal. Smoking decreases blood flow which is the system that brings healing in the body. This can affect how well the implant adheres to the jawbone. Teeth grinding and clenching can cause excessive force on the implant. This will damage the parts of the implant like the crown, abutment, and the implant. You can use a nightguard to help alleviate the stress of this.
Avoiding situations as much as possible that can cause trauma or injury is also important in keeping your implant healthy and safe. Things like high impact sports or falls can loosen or break the implant. Certain medical conditions can lead to the failure of the implant. Diabetes if left unchecked or autoimmune diseases and chronic illness affect the health and healing of the implant. Also, if taking medications, speak to the dentist about the specifics on how safe they are for use when having an implant placed.
Each person’s experience varies when it comes to dental implants. There is no specific timeline or lifespan to how long an implant will last, but research shows high success rates. The key to this is to visit your dentist regularly and follow their advice on the care and maintenance of the implant. The implant can last for decades for many qualified candidates.