Dental implants are an excellent way to restore missing or damaged teeth. They look very natural, feel comfortable, and can successfully restore the appearance and functionality of your mouth.
But, the process of getting dental implants can be quite long and tedious. Not to mention, they are more expensive than other teeth restoration options. If you are considering this treatment, you probably want to ensure that it's really worth your time and money.
So, how long do implants last? Are they forever?
Before we can answer this question, you must understand the anatomy of an implant.
Dental implants consist of three components:
Each of these components has a different lifespan. For example, the implant post itself is designed to be a permanent fixture. If the osseointegration process is successful, the metal post will fuse with the surrounding bone tissue and start acting like a natural tooth root. The abutment and crown, on the other hand, are more susceptible to damage and have a lifespan of about 20 years.
However, your oral hygiene habits and lifestyle choices can influence the longevity of your dental implant, including the metal post.
You need healthy gums and enough bone mass to be able to get a dental implant in the first place. But don't assume that you can skimp on your oral hygiene after the implant has successfully fused with the jawbone. While the crown may be resistant to bacteria, your gums and surrounding teeth are not. Gum disease can affect your implant and cause it to fail. If left untreated, the bacteria will eat away at your gums and the bones that support your teeth and implant, causing irreversible damage.
Avoiding implant failure is actually very simple. Just make sure to brush your teeth twice a day and floss every night to reduce the amount of plaque that builds up at your gum line.
Smoking, for example, can affect the integrity and longevity of your implant. Firstly, smoking can slow down the healing process after implant surgery. Moreover, smoking is one of the leading causes of gum disease in the US, and, as we've seen, gum disease can affect your implant's lifespan.
Crowns are strong enough to withstand the pressure from biting and chewing food, but they might get chipped or cracked if you tend to use your teeth as tools.
The position of your implant can also influence its longevity. For example, if your implant is replacing a tooth at the back of your mouth, then it will be under more pressure as we primarily use those teeth for chewing food.
Are you interested in dental implants but aren't sure if they are the right option for you? The team at Luck Family Dental can help you find out the answer.
Get in touch to book an appointment with one of our Fort Mill dental implant specialists.