Dental implants are an incredible technological achievement. Based on how they look, how they feel, and how well they allow you to live a comfortable life, they are second only to having natural, properly-maintained teeth. How long they last varies from person to person, but what’s important to know is that they are intended as a permanent solution and, when properly maintained, they are often just that.
To get a better understanding of how long yours might last, consider the three main components of a dental implant.
First, there is the implant itself, a titanium post surgically placed into the jawbone. Second, a small piece called an abutment is attached to the implant. The abutment holds in place the ceramic, natural-looking tooth which is fastened to it. This ceramic tooth is known as the crown.
The implant itself is intended to last permanently. It is so deeply rooted that it has the stability to withstand the years of biting and chewing that may cause other solutions, such as dentures, to falter. Being inside the jawbone, the implant is safe from elements that might otherwise cause decay. With the jawbone as its foundation, the implant is able to withstand the day-to-day stress of chewing and biting, as would a natural tooth; it will not dispense its burden onto your other teeth.
Reasons a Dental Implant Might Fail
As innovations in this area have continued to expand, instances of failure – rare to begin with – have steadily decreased. There are, however, certain factors that are detrimental to longevity. These include serious health conditions such as cancer and diabetes.
The biggest factor, however, is one that you can avoid: negligence. With dental implants, brushing and flossing twice a day is as imperative as it is with natural teeth. The main reason for this is that these two actions keep your gums and jaws – among other things – healthy. Gums and jaws that are unhealthy eventually begin to deteriorate, compromising a tooth’s foundation. This is equally true with implants.
Implants toward the back of the mouth are the most susceptible to unhealthy practices, as most of our chewing is done with our back teeth
While for most individuals the implant is intended to be permanent, the crown is a slightly different matter. Crowns are typically expected to last 10 to 15 years. However, a healthy person who brushes and flosses regularly can hope to have them last even longer. This is great motivation for making your teeth and your overall health a priority.
Dental implants have become the standard mode of tooth replacement. Talk to your dentist during your next appointment to see if they are the proper solution for you. Your dentist will be able to take your particular health circumstances into consideration and give you a more precise idea of how long you can expect your implants to last.