Dental implants are considered by many to be the best choice for long-term tooth replacement, looking like and requiring only the same care needed by your natural teeth. But how long will your dental implants last? The answer to this question depends largely on your lifestyle and overall commitment to dental hygiene.
The technology involved in dental implants has advanced so far over the last ten to twenty years that implant failures due to rejection or functionality issues seldom occur. Pre-existing medical conditions, diseases, and implant misuse are usually to blame when an implant does fail.
What Is A Dental Implant Made Of?
Implants last so long because of what they’re made of:
1. Implant – The titanium or zirconia post that is surgically placed in the jawbone of a patient and serves as a root for the crown.
2. Abutment – The abutment is fastened to the implant and holds the crown in place.
3. Crown – The crown is a ceramic false tooth that is attached to the abutment and provides the look and function of a natural tooth.
In general, the the crown and abutment are more prone to damage than the implant itself because they are exposed and actively used in biting and chewing.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
When you brush and floss regularly, the implant screw itself can last a lifetime, assuming you also attend regular dental check-ups twice a year. The crown, however, usually has a lifespan of about 10 to 15 years before normal wear and tear may cause it to require a replacement. However, maintaining excellent dental hygiene could extend the life of your crown beyond 15 years. The crown’s location in the mouth is also a factor in calculating the life of a dental implant. Implants in the rear of the mouth are more actively involved in chewing, which can cause them to wear down more quickly than implants near the front of the mouth which are really only used to bite.
Dental Implants vs. Other Tooth Replacement Options
A dental implant is intended by its’ designers as a permanent solution for missing teeth and has become the preferred tooth-replacement option by both dentists and patients. A dental implant replaces the missing natural tooth in both appearance and function and can withstand biting or chewing without slipping as there can be with dentures. And unlike dentures, implants never need to be removed for cleaning. Brushing twice daily and flossing alongside your natural teeth is all that is needed. And due to the fact that they are attached to the interior jawbone, implants don’t place stress on the neighboring teeth, as dental bridges tend to do.
How Can Dental Implants Fail?
Dental implants offer dental patients a long-term, indefinite replacement for missing or damaged teeth when properly cared for, but there are issues that can cause an implant to fail prematurely. Patients suffering from diabetes or other pre-existing medical conditions, such as cancer, have a higher risk of dental implant failure. As previously stated, dental implants must be cared for with regular brushing and flossing. Poor oral hygiene can lead to periodontal (gum) disease, which is another factor that can hinder the success of a dental implant.
Dental Implants in Arlington Heights, IL
If you are considering dental implants, you’ll want a dentist you can trust to oversee the procedure. AH Smiles in Arlington Heights is a respected dental clinic that prides itself on being able to meet all your dental needs. For a consultation with an AH Smiles dentist about dental implants or any other dental concern, please call (847) 230-9703 or schedule online.