Dental implants are a replacement for tooth roots. They are metal screw-like posts surgically inserted into the jawbone below the gum line. These posts provide a strong foundation on which artificial teeth (crowns) are mounted. Dental implants are made of titanium – a metal stronger than steel and corrosion-free. Its incredible strength and durability make it the preferred material for dental implants.
A dental implant can support more than one artificial tooth. So, how long do dental implants last? – They can last several decades or even a lifetime. But several factors impact how long your dental implants will actually last.
In this blog, we will be discussing how long do dental implants last and how they can apply to your dental health:
- Factors that can affect how long do dental implants last
- How to keep your dental implants healthy?
- Am I a candidate for a dental implant?
- Can a dentist do implants?
Factors that can affect how long do dental implants last:
How you use your teeth:
While dental implants can last a lifetime, they are not immune to rough use. They can get damaged by eating hard foods like ice, nuts, and hard candy. Tough and chewy foods like some types of meats, dates, caramel, and toffees can also cause damage. You can still eat these foods occasionally, but avoiding biting down hard on them is crucial.
When it comes to answering how long do dental implants last? Unconscious behaviours like grinding teeth (bruxism) can wear down your crowns quickly. The underlying tissue gets weakened or depleted when teeth grind or masticate against each other. You might not be aware that everyone, including children, grinds their teeth — especially if you do it in your sleep.
Dental implant placement:
Some teeth, like wisdom teeth or molars, are designed to work harder than others. For example, the molars (the teeth at the back of your lower/upper jaw) grind food and must sustain the force needed to chew, grind, and clench. So, molar crowns undergo more wear and tear and affect their underlying implants.
Incisor (the four bottom/top front teeth) implants take the first bites into food and are prone to damage. Nail biting, often done with the incisors, can introduce germs into the mouth, which can cause gum disease and decrease the life of dental implants.
Diet and lifestyle:
Smoking is a significant cause of severe gum disease. Both drinking and smoking weaken the body’s immune system and make it easier for mouth bacteria to grow and breed. Unhealthy bacteria can cause severe gum disease (periodontitis) that eats away at the bone and tissue, making it hard for implant-to-bone connection.
It’s the same with excessive sugar and carbohydrate intake. They encourage the growth of harmful bacteria and plaque formation that lead to gingivitis and other oral health problems. All these affect the soft and hard tissues surrounding the implants that, over time, lead to bone loss and late-stage implant failure.
Another critical factor that influences the answer to “how long do dental implants last?” is your everyday oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss regularly (at least once a day, but twice for best results), food debris and bacteria remain in the mouth. They remain there and cause gum disease and decay and decrease the life of your dental implants.
Some implants must be positioned precisely, fully supported, and surrounded by bone. Sometimes the best position in the jawbone is not ideal for the implant, causing a misalignment.
Some medical conditions surrounding implant surgery can lead to dental implant failure. These conditions include;
- Peri-implantitis: A destructive inflammatory response occurring shortly after the procedure.
- Nerve damage: Caused by implants being fixed too close to nerves.
- Allergic reaction: When a foreign body (in this case, the implant) touches the body.
- Unsuccessful osseointegration: Unsuccessful integration of the implant with the surrounding bone because there is insufficient bone.
How to keep your dental implants healthy?
When considering “how long do dental implants last?” It’s equally important to consider what you can do to ensure your implants last a lifetime. Oral hygiene is good for your natural teeth and critical for maintaining your dental implants.
- Stop smoking.
- Do not use your teeth to tear open packets.
- Eat cautiously – especially when eating hard foods.
- Rinse your mouth well after drinking sugary beverages.
- Have bi-yearly dental checkups for regular cleanings.
- Brush and floss twice daily, paying particular attention to the area around the crown.
- If you grind your teeth, invest in a mouth guard to protect your natural teeth and crowns.
Am I a candidate for a dental implant?
You can undergo dental implant surgery if:
- You are healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction.
- Your gums are healthy and free from periodontal disease.
- There is adequate jaw bone to hold the implant securely.
- You commit to continuing with proper oral hygiene after the dental implant surgery.
- You make it a point to visit your dentist at least twice a year.
Note: Inform your dentist if you suffer from a medical condition(for example, heart disease or diabetes) or if you have undergone radiation therapy to the neck/head. Your case will be reviewed in detail before your doctor decides whether you are a dental implant surgery candidate.
Can a dentist do implants?
If you or a loved one requires dental implants, you might wonder, how long do dental implants last, but more importantly, can a dentist do implants? Most general dentists and specialists are trained to do dental implants. Periodontists provide the best quality implant surgery treatment. It’s best to visit a dental clinic that offers a range of dental services and has a dental surgeon who can conduct the procedure.
Dentaservice is committed to providing you with the highest-quality dental care, including dental implant surgery. Each team member has years of experience in implant dentistry. Plus, we are committed to continuing education, so you are always assured of getting the best and latest treatments from our dedicated team. Moreover, our services are affordable and designed to revolve around your individual needs and requirements.
Visit us today or contact us for more information on our dental implant services at Dentaservice in Epping.