Dental implants are a permanent solution when teeth are missing, but just how long will they last? Here, our Charlottetown dentists discuss what dental implants are, what the process is, as well as how long dental implants last.
What exactly are dental implants?
When you have missing teeth your dentist may recommend replacing those teeth through the use of an implant and a crown or bridge. When you are missing teeth it can cause various issues, having a dental implant procedure done can help boost your confidence and self-esteem, and improve your oral and overall health as well.
What is the dental implant process?
There are two elements to a dental implant. When you have a dental implant procedure done the implant itself is a tiny titanium rod that is placed in your jawbone. The second component is an abutment that screws into the implant and attaches to the tooth replacement, holding it in place.
The procedure for having an implant done has two stages. During your initial appointment, your dentist will implant the titanium rod into your jawbone. This procedure will happen beneath the gum tissue which will then be moved back into place after the procedure has been completed.
During the healing process, your gum tissue and jawbone will fuse to the implant making it a permanent part of your jaw.
Your follow-up appointment will happen once the implant has fully healed. It is at this point that your dentist will fit your implant with a tooth replacement to create the appearance of a natural-looking tooth.
Are dental implants permanent?
Having a crown or bridge to replace a tooth is not a permanent solution as these are not as strong as natural teeth and wear down and could be damaged over time. The average length of time that these will last is approximately 10 - 15 years with proper care. Discuss with your dentist how long a crown or bridge may be expected to last in your specific case.
The implant itself is a more permanent part of the treatment as these can last approximately 25 years. However, it is possible that you may never need to replace your implant if it doesn't become damaged, loose, or infected.
These implants are created from metal making them very durable, but there are some factors that can influence how long you can expect an implant to last.
How to Care for Dental Implants
It is very important to take care of your implants and crowns just as well as you should with your natural teeth. Twice daily brushing and flossing is essential for the long-term success of your implant because it helps keep the surrounding teeth and gum tissue healthy and disease-free.
Routine Dental Care
Routine dental care will continue to be a regular part of your oral health care routine including annual examinations. Not only will these visits include thorough cleanings that will keep your teeth and gums healthy, but they also provide your dentist with an opportunity to monitor the state of your dental implant as well as the health of the surrounding teeth. Any issues with the gums or deterioration can be addressed early or possibly prevented in the first place.
How To Protect Your Teeth From Damage
One of the easiest ways to avoid damaging your teeth is to avoid chewing on any hard objects. This includes never using your teeth as a tool to open items. This can cause damage in the form of cracked or chipped teeth.
Your Overall Health
Your lifestyle, including the things you eat, can have a large impact on your oral health and the stability of your implant. Your overall health may also play a part in how successful your implants are over the long run. Certain diseases and medical conditions can lead to a heightened risk of dental implant failure.