Dental implants are a great long-term tooth replacement alternative, as they look and function identically to natural teeth. Are Dental Implants Permanent, and Do They Last a Lifetime? How long, on average, do dental implants last? The answer to these issues is highly dependent on the patient’s personal preferences and overall oral cleanliness.
Dental implant technology has evolved significantly in the last ten to twenty years, to the point that implant failure due to rejection or functionality concerns is now extremely unusual. When an implant fails, misuse of the device, pre-existing medical disorders, and illnesses are currently the most likely causes.
ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS PERMANENT?
Since dental implants are surgically placed within the jawbone, it is true to argue that they are permanent – such that permanently fixed to the mouth but not necessarily permanent in terms of durability. It is critical to understand that an implant is composed of three components:
- The implant post– Integrates with the jaw bone. Attaches the abutment and dental crown to the bone
- The abutment – connects the crown to the implant.
- The dental crown – this is the synthetic tooth that looks and functions identically to a genuine tooth
It is worth noting that the implant post is the component that has the potential to last a patient’s lifetime. Titanium was chosen as the metal for an implant post because of its biocompatibility and resistance to rejection by the body. Additionally, it is extremely sturdy and corrosion-resistant.
On the contrary, an implant’s exposed components – the crown and abutment – are more prone to injury and degeneration than the implant post. With proper care, a crown can last between ten and fifteen years; therefore, depending on the age when you had your implant, it may need to be replaced once or twice over your lifetime.
While there are alternatives to dental implants, including bridges and dentures, it’s important to understand the advantages of using dental implants over these other tooth replacement options, as well as their longevity.
DENTAL IMPLANTS PROVIDE SEVERAL ADVANTAGES.
- Dental implants replenish bite force – Because implants are attached directly into the jawbone, they restore bite power and can tolerate biting and chewing without moving about as a denture would. Individuals who wear dentures have to adhere to a soft diet. On the other hand, those with dental implants can eat whatever they want and still acquire the necessary nutrients.
- Contributes to the prevention of bone loss – Apart from restoring missing teeth, dental implants also aid in the prevention of bone loss that occurs gradually when a tooth root is lost. The implant functions as a prosthetic tooth root and offers the stimulus necessary for normal healthy bone formation when an individual chews their meal.
- Restores confidence – Dental implants repair gaps in the smile and help restore a person’s confidence. Because the prosthetic is flush with the gum line, no one will tell which teeth are restored and which are natural.
HOW LONG ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS EXPECTED TO LAST?
You’ve probably read numerous times that dental implants can last two decades or longer, which is accurate. However, this is only applicable provided that you look after them properly. Several factors determine the lifespan of an implant:
- Your oral hygiene habits – Implants, like natural teeth, require routine brushing, flossing, and dental appointments. Maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial, even more so following dental implant surgery, to avoid gum disease and infection.
- How you use your teeth – Biting down on hard objects such as ice or using your teeth to pop bottle tops will shorten the life of your dental implants.
- Your dentist’s ability – If a skilled dental implant dentist or oral surgeon performs your dental implant procedure, an implant should theoretically last longer. A good specialist should be able to monitor the course of bone fusion and determine whether or not effective osseointegration occurred.
- The implant’s position in the mouth can also affect how long it lasts. For instance, implants put in the back of the mouth often get greater pressure from chewing than implants placed in the front. As a result, an implant placed in the back of the mouth may fail sooner than one placed in the front.
- Your overall health and way of life – Smokers are at a higher risk of implant failure compared to non-smokers. Nicotine from tobacco has been shown to impair the healing process, and in certain cases, bone fusion may not occur at all. Smokers are recommended to abstain from smoking before, during, and after undergoing dental implant surgery and quit totally if possible.
WHAT CAUSES IMPLANTS TO FAIL?
As previously said, implants are designed to endure a long time with proper maintenance. However, certain conditions can contribute to dental implant failure. Dental implant failure is more common in those with chronic diseases like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.
Poor oral hygiene might also contribute to the failure of an implant. While implants are not susceptible to decay in the same way that natural teeth are, they are susceptible to disease and infection, including gum disease. Without therapy, gum disease can progress to peri-implantitis, an inflammation of the gums surrounding the implant. This can result in gum recession and jawbone loss, resulting in the implant becoming loose and falling out. Avoiding gum disease can significantly extend the life of your implants.
MANAGING A FAILED IMPLANT
You can remove a failed implant under a minor anesthetic. Occasionally, you may also replace your implant. According to some studies, replacing single dental implants in the same location has a success rate of 71%.
When the bone that surrounds the implant has deteriorated, a dentist will insert a bone graft to aid in bone tissue regeneration before placing a new implant. In this instance, your new implant may take many months to arrive.
If you prefer not to replace a failed implant or are unable to do so, there are alternative possible therapeutic choices. Dental bridges and dentures are two major alternatives.
If considerable bone loss has not occurred, peri-implantitis may be managed without removing the implant. This procedure includes thoroughly cleaning and decontaminating the implant and surrounding area and administering an antibiotic course.
Dental implants are designed to be permanent. This is because implants make contact with the jawbone and become Osseo integrated with the surrounding bone. Dental implants may fail in some instances. This could be due to several different circumstances. While you can occasionally replace and implant, other treatment options are available if necessary. Consult your dentist or periodontist if you experience implant failure symptoms.