If you are missing one or more teeth, you are putting your oral health at risk. And this is why finding a natural-appearing tooth replacement, such as dental implants, is so important.
Of course, if you know anything about dental implants, then you are probably aware that they are a costly investment. So, are they worth it? How long do dental implants last? Let’s find out.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a tooth alternative used to replace a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. They consist of a post (often made of titanium) that is implanted into your jawbone. Over time, the two fuse together so that the post becomes a strong anchor for the new tooth.
When the dentist believes it is safe to move forward, an abutment is attached to the implant. This abutment holds a custom-designed dental crown that matches the size, shape, color, and contour of the rest of your teeth. It blends beautifully so that no one will even know the tooth isn’t real.
Unlike dentures that can pop out at any time or bridges that require another tooth to anchor them, dental implants are anchored by the implant itself. This leaves them not only looking great but functioning very well, too.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
The implant itself is intended to be permanent. If placed with precision by a highly skilled dentist, it should last a lifetime. After all, it is fused with your bone. However, things like poor hygiene and trauma to the jaw could play a role in determining their lifespan.
When it comes to dental crowns, their lifespan is a bit different. They are designed to last about 10 to 15 years. Those made with high-quality materials that have been properly cared for can last upwards of 20 or 30 years.
Of course, the more they are used, the faster they may succumb to wear and tear. For instance, those dental implants in the front of the mouth aren’t doing the heavy chewing every time you eat. That means they tend to last longer than those in the back of your mouth.
Regular trips to the dentist will help you maintain your oral health - and allow your dentist to keep an eye on your dental implant. And, should the time come to replace the crown, it is a non-invasive procedure that swaps out the old crown for the new one.
Caring for Dental Implants
There are certain factors that can impact the health of dental implants, such as poor dental hygiene, bruxism, smoking, poor bone quality, and even an inexperienced dentist. If you would like to invest in dental implants and give yourself the greatest chance of longevity, here’s what you need to do:
- Boost your oral hygiene routine by brushing at least twice per day and flossing at least once
- Clean around implants well
- Stop smoking
- Make a point to visit your dentist at least every 6 months
- Reduce your consumption of sugary foods
The better you care for your dental implants - including the dental crown - the longer they will last.
Learn More About Dental Implants
Interested in learning more about dental implants? Dental Associates of Lodi can help. We have a team of dental professionals who are highly skilled in providing successful dental implant treatment.