Dental implants are now considered the optimal choice for long-term tooth replacement, resembling your natural teeth almost exactly and requiring only the same care they need. But how long will your dental implants last? The answer to this question depends greatly on your lifestyle and commitment to dental hygiene.
The technology behind dental implants has advanced to such an extent over the last ten to twenty years that implant failures have become very rare. Complications from pre-existing medical conditions, diseases, and misusing the implant are the most common culprits when an implant does fail.
What Is A Dental Implant Made Of?
Implants have longevity because of how they’re made:
1. Implant – The titanium or zirconia screw that is surgically embedded in the jawbone of a patient and serves as a root for the crown.
2. Abutment – The abutment is fastened to the implant and holds the crown in place.
3. Crown – The crown is a prosthetic ceramic tooth that is mounted atop the abutment and provides the look and function of a natural tooth.
In general, the crown and abutment are more susceptible to being damaged than the implant screw because they are exposed and actively used in biting and chewing.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
If you adhere to your dentist’s recommendation of flossing daily, brushing twice daily, and attending regular dental examinations twice a year, the implant screw itself can possibly last a lifetime. The crown will usually need to be replaced in about 10 to 15 years due to normal wear and tear. However, cautious use and maintaining excellent dental hygiene can possibly extend the life beyond 15 years.
Mouth location is also a prime factor in calculating the life of a dental implant. Because molars are instrumental in chewing and grinding your food, an implant that replaces one will likely wear out more quickly than implants near the front of the mouth.
Dental Implants vs. Other Tooth Replacement Options
A dental implant is intended to be a permanent solution for missing teeth as they never need to be removed. A dental implant completely replaces a natural tooth and can tolerate normal biting or chewing. Unlike with dentures, there is no fear of slippage as they are permanently attached. This also means that all cleaning is done in your mouth as you brush and floss your natural teeth. Finally, because they are embedded in the jawbone, implants don’t require alterations on or place stress on adjacent teeth as dental bridges do.
How Can Dental Implants Fail?
When properly cared for dental implants provide a long-term, indefinite replacement for missing or damaged teeth. However, 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 of implant failure. Although the implant itself is immune to decay, the gums, jawbone and surrounding natural teeth are still vulnerable to gum disease and must be cared for to keep your implant securely in place.
Dental Implants in Charlotte, NC
If you are considering dental implants, you need to see the best implant dentist possible. Dr. Richard W Van Gurp in Charlotte, NC is a skilled professional with over 30 years in practice. For a consultation with Dr. Van Gurp about dental implants or any other dental concern, please call (704) 209-9606 or schedule an appointment online.