Dental implants are tooth replacement options that have revolutionized modern dentistry; these permanent solutions provide the same look and function of natural teeth.
There are multiple factors that affect a dental implant’s longevity, including the implant’s quality, the skill of your dentist, your overall health, the implant placement, and your routine oral care. Here’s what you need to know before getting a dental implant.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
The short answer is that dental implants, the titanium screws that fuse with your jawbone, are made to last a lifetime. The visible part of the tooth-replacement system, the dental crown, however, must be replaced every 5 to 15 years.
Your dentist will have the knowledge of your specific situation to provide a more personalized answer to the question, “how long do dental implants last,” as well as instructions for caring for your dental implants. This guide will provide a general overview of dental implants, and what you can do to get the most from this innovative solution for missing teeth.
Tooth Replacement Options
Previously, a patient’s tooth replacement choices consisted only of dental bridges and dentures. Dentures are impermanent and require intensive upkeep, and dental bridges last up to 15 years.
Dental implants, on the other hand, can last much longer when properly cared for and are a permanent, comfortable replacement for missing teeth. Dental implants mimic the look and feel of natural teeth, helping patients smile with confidence.
The Components of a Dental Implant
A dental implant is designed to function as a complete tooth replacement system. To achieve this goal, a dental implant consists of three components:
A titanium implant
The implant is a small post that is secured in place of the old tooth’s root during implant surgery. It provides a secure anchor to support the dental crown. If properly cared for, the titanium post can last a lifetime.
An abutment screws into the implant base and connects it to the crown. The top of the abutment sits above the patient’s gum line.
A dental crown
The crown is the only part of the dental implant you can see after implant surgery is complete. The crown is crafted from resin, porcelain, ceramic, metal, or porcelain fused to metal to look and function like a natural tooth.
Most dental crowns last from 5 to 15 years, but some high-quality crowns can last for 25 years or more with a good oral hygiene regimen and biannual dental checkups.
Dental Implant Surgery
Before you can begin to care for a dental implant, you’ll need to have a successful surgery. Dental implant surgery is a relatively low-risk procedure, but implants can fail soon after surgery due to an infection that causes inflammation in the surrounding tissue, a failure of the bone to fuse with the implant, or even surgical trauma.
To reduce the risk of an implant failure, choose a reputable dental surgeon to conduct the procedure. You should also have per-surgical consultations to ensure your oral health and overall health make you a good candidate for a successful surgery.
Australians needing dental implants have the benefit of the strict governing standards of the Australian Dental Board that patients who venture abroad for dental work do not. When you work with No Gaps Dental, you can rest assured that you will receive cutting-edge care with state-of-the-art equipment in a compassionate environment.
Factors Impacting the Lifespan of your Dental Implants
After you’ve had a successful dental surgery, there are additional factors that often impact how long your implants will last, including how you use your teeth, the placement of your implants, and your diet and lifestyle choices.
How you use your teeth
Some habits and unconscious actions can be hard on a dental crown, including using your teeth for chewing ice, biting hard items, and grinding your teeth. Playing contact sports can also increase the likelihood of damaging your crown.
These activities are known to be harmful to your natural teeth as well as dental crowns, but luckily they are unlikely to harm your titanium implants.
The placement within your mouth
The location of the dental implant within your mouth can impact how much stress the crown will be under on a daily basis. If your dental implant replaces a molar or incisor, it will be responsible for more grinding and tearing that produces more wear and tear on your crown.
Diet and lifestyle choices
Heavy drinking and smoking put your oral health at risk, and these lifestyle choices also produce more wear and tear on your crowns. Additionally, these habits weaken your body’s immune system, making it easier for bacteria in your mouth to grow, spread, and cause dental problems such as gum disease or pulpitis.
Excessive sugar or refined carbohydrate intake also encourages the growth and spread of plaque, which can further speed the growth of harmful bacteria, which can make a later-stage implant failure more likely. While your dental implant won’t require a filling because it can’t get a cavity, you can get gingivitis if you don’t brush and floss effectively.
Caring for a Dental Implant
Practicing excellent oral hygiene isn’t just good for your natural teeth and gums. It’s also crucial to ensure your dental implants will last long.
Carefully follow the hygiene advice of your dentist both before and after dental implant surgery. This helps your mouth heal efficiently and completely. Once your implant site has healed, maintain excellent oral hygiene. Brush at least twice a day and once before bed with a fluoride toothpaste.
Daily flossing helps protect your gums, remove hidden bacteria and plaque, and keep your mouth healthy, which in turn protects your dental implant. Patients can incorporate traditional flossing, water flossing, or air flossing, into their daily routine.
Replacing the Crown on your Dental Implant
Over time, you may notice some telltale signs that your dental crown must be replaced. These signs include discoloration of the crown or surrounding teeth, chipping and wear.
Regular visits to the dentist can keep you alerted of any changes to your dental crown that need to be addressed.
Dental implants are a long-term investment in your oral health, but dental crowns don’t last forever. When you work with a qualified dental practice and maintain healthy habits, your dental implants can last 25 years or longer.
At No Gaps Dental, our team of highly-trained dentists have years of experience in helping patients maintain the health of their smile through dental implant surgery. To ask more questions or arrange a consultation, contact us at (02) 8007 6727 or book an appointment online.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.