Since they closely resemble and need only the same care as natural teeth, dental implants are an excellent choice for long-term tooth replacement. But how will your dental implants last? What can be done to make sure they last as long as they possibly can? Dr. Nicholas F Gardner of Gouverneur NY has the answers.
The answer to this first question depends largely on your lifestyle and dental hygiene habits. The technology of dental implants has advanced so rapidly over the last ten to twenty years that failures of implants due to rejection or functionality issues have become very rare. Pre-existing medical conditions, diseases, and implant misuse are usually at fault when an implant does fail.
Components of a Dental Implant
To better understand what an implant needs to last, you must first understand the components of an implant.
- Implant – The titanium or zirconia post that is surgically placed in the jawbone of a patient and serves as a root for the crown.
- Abutment – The abutment is fastened to the implant and will hold the crown in place.
- Crown – The crown is a ceramic false tooth that is attached to the abutment and allows the look and function of a natural tooth.
In general, the the crown and abutment are more apt to be damaged than the implant itself because they are exposed and actively used in biting and chewing.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
With regular brushing and flossing, the implant piece itself can decades, assuming the patient receives regular dental examinations twice a year. The crown, however, usually only has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years before normal wear may cause it to require a replacement. However, excellent dental hygiene could extend the life to 15 years and beyond. Mouth location is also a factor in the predicting the life of a dental implant. Implants in the back of the mouth are used more actively in the chewing process, which can cause them to wear out more quickly than implants near the front of the mouth.
Dental Implants vs. Other Tooth Replacement Options
A dental implant is designed to be a permanent solution for missing teeth and has become the preferred option for replacement. A dental implant acts just like a natural tooth and can withstand biting or chewing without slipping as can happen with dentures. And unlike dentures, implants are permanently placed and all brushing — twice daily as recommended by your dentist — and daily flossing is done in your mouth as you’re cleaning your natural teeth. Implants are embedded on jawbone itself, therefore they don’t stress the adjacent teeth, as dental bridges can.
How Can An Implant Fail?
When properly cared for, dental implants provide a long-term, indefinite replacement for missing or damaged teeth, but there are issues that can cause an implant to fail prematurely. Patients diagnosed with diabetes or other pre-existing medical conditions, such as cancer, have a higher risk of dental implant failure. As stated previously, dental implants must be maintained through regular brushing and flossing. Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease (periodontitis), which is another factor that can hinder the success of a dental implant.
Dental Implants in Gouverneur NY
If you are considering dental implants, you need to choose a dentist you can trust. Dr. Gardner of Nicholas F Gardner Family Dental Care in Gouverneur NY is a skilled professional and is a member of the American Dental Association, a fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, an alumni of the Dawson Academy and a member of the Academy of GP Orthodontics. For a consultation with Dr. Gardner about dental implants or any other dental concern, please call (315) 203-1772 or schedule online.