Dental implants are a popular and highly recommended alternative to your natural teeth. If you are in a situation where you need to replace just one tooth, an entire mouthful of teeth, or just a few at a time, dental implants are a great option. They look and feel natural and function just as a real tooth would, too.
Dental implants, however, do have a reputation for a hefty price tag. Since dental implants are intended to be permanent, you are investing in a lifelong tooth replacement which does carry a higher price. So the question becomes, how long can I expect dental implants to last?
Parts of a Dental Implant
It’s important to understand that a dental implant is not just one piece that is surgically implanted in your mouth. It actually contains three different parts that aren’t necessarily placed, or implanted, at the same time. Each of the three components plays a key role in the functionality of the implant and making it a success.
The Implant. The implant is a titanium post that gets surgically implanted in your bone. Over time, it will begin to fuse to your bone, acting as an anchor for a crown to be placed.
The Abutment. Once the implant is fused and your dentist is ready for the next step, which is when the abutment is screwed into the implant. The abutment reaches down into the bone and extends up over the gum line. This is the part of the implant that will connect with the crown.
The Crown. The crown is your artificial tooth. It will be custom designed to match your other teeth, including shade, texture, and appearance. It will also be fitted to ensure that your bite alignment remains the same. The crown is the only part of a dental implant that is visible.
When the procedure is finished, your dental implant will look very much like your original tooth. And, unless you share your procedure with others, no one will ever know.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants are designed to be permanent. They are fused with your bone so there is a high probability that they will remain in place. However, factors such as poor hygiene, trauma to the jaw, etc. may impact the lifespan of your implant.
It is worth noting that while the titanium implant is designed to last forever, the crown is not. It will suffer normal wear and tear, depending on how well it is cared for, and will likely last five to 15 years. Keep in mind that crowns are made of different material and some that are of high-quality may last 25 years or longer.
Placement within the mouth also has a lot to do with the life of a crown. Dental implants toward the front of the mouth tend to fare better than the ones in the back. This is due to the heavy chewing that goes on with back teeth. It can wear a crown down and lead to a needing a replacement.
Dental implants are a great long-term solution for missing teeth. Taking excellent care of your oral hygiene and overall health following an implant procedure will help ensure the long-term success of your procedure.
How You Can Promote Longevity Of Your Implants
Here are several strategies to help protect your implant investment.
Maintain a high level of oral care. Taking great care of your teeth is your first step. This means brushing and flossing regularly, as well as visiting your dentist for a professional cleaning at least twice per year.
Consider reducing the use of alcohol and cigarettes. Both put your oral health at risk and, thus will produce more wear and tear on your crown. Alcohol and smoking decrease your immune system which also means the bacteria in your mouth will increase, which is not ideal for your implant.
Eat a healthy diet. Sugar and refined carbohydrates lead to plaque production, which encourages bacteria growth. Eating a healthy diet rich in whole foods and whole grains can increase the longevity of the crown part of the implant.
Dental Implants at Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry
If you need dental implants or would like additional information, consider scheduling a complimentary consultation with Dr. Donald Miller of Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry in Fairfield, CT today. Please call 203-255-6878 or click here to schedule an appointment. strive to give our patients bea