Dental implants are no doubt the most advanced teeth replacement option available today. They offer better aesthetics, functionality, and permanence than conventional dentures. In terms of durability, they’re not to be underestimated either. But a question many curious patients ask is “how long do dental implants last?” Knowing the longevity of implants allows you to plan for future restoration and to maintain practices that might just help prolong their lifespan.
What Dental Implants Are Made Of
Perhaps the best way to know how long a dental implant could last is to have a look at its components. Generally, a full implant installation consists of a titanium post placed in the gum and jawbone to replace the missing tooth root, an abutment (attached to the tip of the implant to hold the prosthetic crown in place), and a prosthetic crown (attached to the abutment to replace the tooth’s missing crown).
The implant is made of either titanium or zirconia, both regarded as two of the strongest and most hard-wearing materials on the planet. Like copper and silver, these metals are corrosion-resistant and have an antimicrobial property, which makes them safe for use in applications like implantation. The prosthetic crown, on the other hand, is made of porcelain, a superior type of ceramic that has its own merits, including durability that exceeds even that of a real tooth.
Other Factors That Can Affect Dental Implant’s Longevity
With a titanium root and a porcelain crown, a dental implant could last for up to 25 years. However, this incredibly durable combo isn’t enough to guarantee that a dental implant will really last that long. Other factors may come into play, including:
Dental Hygiene. Just like the rest of your teeth, dental implants require proper care to stay healthy-looking and functional. If you brush and floss at least twice a day, you can keep your dental implant free from infection. A regular visit to the dentist also helps prevent any developing disease from affecting your implants.
Diet. The types of food you eat also have an impact on the longevity of your implants. Your dentist will most likely advise you to refrain from eating tough foods even after your recovery is complete. You need to cut down on eating sweets as well, as they can promote the growth of decay-causing bacteria.
How You Use Your Teeth. If you have that unpleasant habit of chewing or biting down on extremely hard items, like pen tips or pencils, or even opening bottles or wrappers with your teeth, you have to find a way to change it because it is not going to help maintain your dental implant.
Health. Patients with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer or diabetes, have a high risk of dental implant failure. In some cases, dentists may not approve of dental implant installation on these patients to avoid possible complications.
For more information on dental implants, and to see if they are right for you, contact Holly Sletten DMD today.