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dental implant lifespan sydney

Dental Implant Lifespan – What Can Affect How Long it Lasts?

With good care, your expected dental implant lifespan should be more than ten years, if not a lifetime. However, this may not always work out as planned because there are factors that can affect an implant’s longevity. Let’s take a look at them and find out if you can combat them to prolong the life of your dental implant so that it lasts as long as possible.

 

What can affect the dental Implant lifespan?

A dental implant acts as a replacement tooth root providing the foundation for an artificial tooth (dental crown). It comprises the implant post, abutment or small connector that joins the crown to the post, and a porcelain crown. 

long last teeth implants sydneyDental implants can help restore both the structure and function of a missing tooth, whether the tooth is lost due to an injury or gum disease. They mimic natural teeth more closely than other tooth replacement options – including bridges and dentures – providing unparalleled functionality, feel and aesthetics. So much so that it’s hard to determine a dental implant from a natural tooth.

However, as much as dental implants are strong, their longevity can be curtailed if they are not looked after properly. The following factors can influence how long dental implants last.

 

Oral health

There is a correlation between oral health and the lifespan of dental implants. A dental implant is a small titanium fixture that functions as a tooth root in the jawbone. Like a natural tooth, an implant requires healthy gums and bone for support. Healthy gums and bone rely on a clean mouth to prevent bacteria from forming the plaque that causes tooth decay and gum disease. Without treatment, tooth decay and gum disease can progress, resulting in tooth loss.

Dental implants can be affected by gum disease in a similar way to natural teeth. If gum disease progresses to periodontal disease, it can cause bone loss in the jawbone around the implant that may result in failure of the implant. 

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to eliminate gum disease in its early stages and improve oral hygiene, so your implant lasts a long time. Brushing and flossing twice a day helps keep your gums healthy. Using an electric toothbrush is considered to be better than regular brushing because it reaches the harder to reach areas in your mouth. However, flossing is one of the greatest tools for removing plaque bacteria from places a toothbrush cannot, for example, in between the teeth and below the gum line. 

 

Lifestyle choices

Lifestyle choices are another factor that can influence how long implants last. One of the worst is cigarette smoking. The nicotine in tobacco can hinder the healing process after you have received a  dental implant because it reduces blood flow, which is vital in transporting nutrients to heal tissues and fight infection. As a result, dental implants may fail to integrate with the jawbone, causing them to fail before they have even become established.

Furthermore, if your dental implant has integrated with your jawbone and you continue to smoke, it is likely to have a detrimental effect on the longevity of the implant. That’s because smokers tend to experience gum disease more than non-smokers. Many dentists are unwilling to agree to dental implants in smokers for these reasons. But, if you are a smoker and already have an implant, it is seriously worth giving up if you want to sustain a longer dental implant lifespan.

 

 

Damage or injury

Although hard-wearing, dental implants are not indestructible—or at least, the crown part isn’t. In common with natural teeth and other dental restorations, crowns can become chipped, cracked or damaged due to facial injury or by biting hard foods, such as ice or sweets. If it is just the crown part of your dental implant that is damaged, it may be able to be fixed. If not, the whole crown may need replacing—which isn’t as inconvenient or expensive as replacing the entire implant.

However, if the titanium root is damaged or becomes loose, the entire implant will need replacing. If the jawbone has sustained damage, you will need to wait for this to heal before another dental implant can be placed.

 

Medical conditions

longevity of implants teeth sydneySome medical conditions may affect the potential dental implant lifespan. A weakened immune system, blood clotting disorders, and diabetes can all affect how long dental implants last.

Anything that compromises the body’s ability to heal and makes it more susceptible to infection can lead to implant failure. Thus, if you have a condition such as diabetes, it does not mean you cannot have dental implants, but it will need to be well-controlled to ensure the long-term success of dental implant surgery.

Another problem for dental implants is bruxism (teeth clenching or teeth grinding). The excessive forces the condition places on the teeth and teeth restorations can damage an implant. Again, it may be possible to have dental implants placed, but you may need to consider wearing a nightguard when you go to bed at night, which prevents the teeth from coming into contact with one another.

 

Dental implant lifespan – The bottom line

You can take steps to increase the lifespan of your dental implants, but to find out more, speak to the team at No Gaps Dental. While we can’t guarantee its lifespan, we take implant care very seriously and all aspects of patient safety and hygiene. From hand sanitiser to masks, you can rely on us to take every precaution to prevent infection. We use hand sanitiser before and after treating every patient and recommend patients use hand sanitiser at home before touching their mouths or faces. Get in touch and contact us on (02) 8806 0227 today.

 

 

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

 

 

 

References

Health Direct – Gum Disease
https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/gum-disease#:~:text=Gum%20disease%20occurs%20when%20the,can%20help%20prevent%20gum%20disease.

Colgate – Flossing: How Important Is Flossing To You?
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/brushing-and-flossing/how-important-is-flossing

Mayo Clinic – Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/symptoms-causes/syc-20356095

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