How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
One of the best advancements of modern dentistry is Dental Implants Surgery. This treatment helps those with missing teeth keep their jaw healthy and helps maintain facial structure. More importantly it helps those who might have once had to cover their mouth self-consciously when smiling, talking, or laughing, express themselves freely.
Although replacement teeth do a fantastic job of imitating your natural teeth, they certainly are not the cheapest treatment that is available on the market. So, it is reasonable to query on how long they would last?
What are dental implants?
To understand what Dental Implants are, take a closer look at what they are made of. This will also help you understand how long they will typically last.
- Titanium Implant
- Dental Crown
The Titanium Implant is a Titanium screw that is made of biocompatible material which promotes no harsh reactions from the immune system and is accepted by the body. For this reason, they are also widely used in artificial joints. The screw is inserted directly into the jawbone where it will fuse with the bone over time through a process we call ‘osseointegration’. Over time the implant will lock into place and should last a lifetime if maintained well.
The abutment is like a small hook that attaches the Titanium implant to the dental crown. This is designed to last a lifetime too and typically does not need to be replaced over time.
The dental crown – the only visible element of the implant is crafted from porcelain and colour-matched to fit in with the rest of your natural teeth. The lifespan for this component is typically between 10 and 15 years on average, but we have seen instances where they last for much longer. Much of this depends, as you can see, on how well you take care of your teeth and your oral hygiene habits.
Factors that determine how long your dental implants last
All surgical procedures carry a certain level of risk and dental implant surgery is no different. Implants could fail due to infections in the surrounding gum tissue, soon after surgery, or even because the bone failed to fuse with the implant. Surgical trauma too is a risk factor to be considered.
By consulting a reputed and experienced dentist to perform your dental implant surgery, you will avoid most of these issues. This is because they will ensure you have had the required pre-surgery consultation checks and the surgery itself will be performed in a sterile environment which will greatly minimise the risk of infection post-op.
Your lifestyle choices and everyday activities will have an impact on how long your dental implants last. For example, if you play a sport like footy or rugby, make sure you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth. Cracks to your porcelain crown while playing a sport is an easily preventable accident.
Habits like grinding teeth or chewing on ice could also reduce the lifespan of your dental crown. If you smoke and drink excessively, it could weaken your immune system, making it easier for infections to take hold and potentially lead to issues with the titanium implant.
Depending on the ‘type’ of teeth and the specific task they are meant to fulfill within your mouth – some teeth see more wear and tear than the others. The location of the dental implant therefore is another factor that can influence its lifespan. If the implant is replacing a molar tooth – responsible for grinding your food, it will experience more wear and tear than other teeth and sooner.
Dental implants may not be ‘real’ teeth, but that does not stop poor oral hygiene affecting them. It is important that you follow your dentist’s advice before and after surgery to ensure your dental implants last longer with no complications. Once the site has fully healed post-op, brush twice a day and start flossing, this will help greatly by removing any food or bacteria lodged between teeth. By keeping your gums healthy and minimizing the risk of any infection, you can protect your dental implants and avoid preventable complications.