A missing tooth can have a significant consequence on one’s self-esteem and confidence. Fortunately for us, we live in a time where we can get dental implants, and no one can tell them apart. Not only do dental implants look like real teeth, but they also feel like real teeth. More importantly, they are a long-term solution to an annoying problem.
If you have just received a dental implant or plan to get one, then we know one of the many questions running in your mind: “how long do they last?”
This question is related to medicine and human anatomy; hence, its answer is not that simple. We need to understand the procedure, the risks involved, and the precautions that affect the life of an implant.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant consists of three major parts, the implant, the abutment, and the crown. As time passes and studies advance, each of these factors improves in quality and makes the implant last much longer; in some cases, an implant can last for an entire lifetime.
The implant is made of titanium or zirconia and is surgically fitted into the jawbone; this is the root of the dental implant. Next, the abutment is placed into the implant to hold the crown in place. The last step is the crown, made of ceramic to mimic a real tooth.
How Long Are Dental Implants Likely to Last?
Factors That Can Affect the Life of Implants
Now, on to the real question, how long do dental implants last? The answer to this question is the same that applies to our natural teeth. If you take care of your implants by brushing and flossing regularly, they can last for 25 years or more or even for a lifetime. You can also increase your implants’ life by avoiding biting and chewing on hard surfaces with them.
Lack of proper care and some of the following factors can affect the implants life and cause it to fail prematurely:
1. Poor Dental Hygiene
Dental implants need healthy gums to last a long time. Make sure to floss and brush your teeth and implant(s) twice a day.
Implants or not, smoking and healthy gums do not go hand in hand. Smoking prevents adequate blood flow and makes healing difficult after surgery. Even long after the surgery, smoking can cause infection and inflammation and cause dental implants to fail.
3. Certain Medical Conditions
Medical conditions, such as diabetes and cancer, make healing after the dental implant procedure difficult and can shorten the implant’s life.
One important factor affecting the life of a dental implant is your periodontist’s skill level. An excellent periodontist would make sure that the jawbone and the implant are bonding nicely before moving ahead with the procedure.