Dental implants are an ideal choice for long-term replacement of missing teeth, looking like and requiring only the care given to natural teeth. But how long can you expect your dental implants to last? The answer to this question is largely dependent on the patient’s lifestyle and overall dental hygiene. Dental implant technology has advanced to the point that implants rarely fail due to rejection and functionality issues have become very rare. Pre-existing medical conditions, diseases, and implant misuse are frequently the culprits when an implant does fail.
What Is A Dental Implant Made Of?
Implants can last so long because of what materials they’re made of:
1. Implant – The titanium or zirconia screw that is surgically placed in the jawbone of a patient and serves as a root for the crown.
2. Abutment – The abutment is attached to the implant and supports the crown.
3. Crown – The crown is a ceramic false tooth that is mounted atop the abutment and provides the look, feel and function of a natural tooth.
In general, the crown and abutment are more prone to damage than the implant itself because they are above the gum line and actively used in biting and chewing.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
With regular brushing and flossing, the implant screw itself can last a lifetime, assuming the patient receives regular dental check-ups twice a year and uses the implant reasonably. The crown, however, can usually only endure about 10 to 15 years of normal wear and tear before it may require a replacement. However, cautious use and excellent dental hygiene may extend the life of the crown beyond 15 years.
Mouth location is also an important factor in calculating the life of a dental implant. Implants in the rear of the mouth are more actively used in chewing, which can cause their crowns to wear out more quickly than those of implants near the front of the mouth.
Dental Implants vs. Other Tooth Replacement Options
A dental implant is designed to be a permanent solution for missing teeth and has become the preferred tooth-replacement option among dentists and patients. A dental implant is embedded directly into the gums like a natural tooth and can withstand biting or chewing without slipping as there can be with dentures.
And unlike dentures, all cleaning and maintenance — brushing twice daily and flossing — is done in your mouth when you clean your natural teeth. Also, because they are not attached to the adjacent teeth like bridges they do not put any strain on other teeth and in fact support a healthy bite by preventing their movement.
How Can Dental Implants Fail?
Dental implants provide a long-term, indefinite replacement for missing or damaged teeth when properly cared for, but there are several factors that can cause an implant to fail prematurely. Patients suffering from diabetes or other pre-existing medical conditions, such as cancer, have a higher risk their implant failing due to infections to which these conditions make your body vulnerable.
As mentioned earlier, dental implants must be cared for alongside your remaining teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease (periodontitis), which is another factor that can hinder the success of a dental implant.
Dental Implants in Annapolis, MD
If you are in Annapolis, MD and considering dental implants, you’ll want to see the best implant dentist possible. Dr. Vernon Sheen is a skilled professional with over 25 years in practice. For a consultation with Dr. Sheen about dental implants or any other dental concern, please call (443) 482- 5202 or schedule online.