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How long does a dental implant last?

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About 120 million Americans are missing at least one natural tooth. Another 36 million do not have any teeth at all. Dental implants are the ideal solution for those wishing to regain their smile. In this article, Allure Dental Clinic will explore the longevity of dental implants and discuss what you can do to ensure your implant lasts as long as possible.

Before exploring how long dental implants last, one must understand what a dental implant is.

What Is A Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed into the jawbone to act as a replacement for a natural tooth root. Once the implant has fused with the jawbone, a dental crown is placed on top of the implant to restore the appearance of a natural tooth.

Usually, a connector, also known as an abutment, is placed between the implant and the dental crown to provide extra support.

Now that we know dental implants let’s explore how long they last.

The longevity of dental implants

Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. With proper care, your implant should last you for many years. While these devices are designed to last a lifetime, the reality is that they may not. This is due to several factors that can affect the longevity of your implant. So, on average, the lifespan of a dental implant is 25 years. Although, the abutment and the crown may need replacing after 10 to 15 years.

As mentioned earlier, several factors can affect the longevity of your dental implant. Let’s explore these factors in detail.

Age Of The Patient

Unfortunately, age is a factor that you can’t do much about. Studies have shown that the younger you are when you get an implant, the longer the implant is likely to last. This is because our bones become more brittle as we age, and we are more likely to experience bone loss. This makes us more prone to implant failure due to the instability of the implants.

Oral Hygiene

Just like your natural teeth, taking care of your dental implants is essential. This means brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist.
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All of this helps remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums, which can help prevent gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of implant failure.

Existing Medical Conditions

An underlying medical condition can also affect the longevity of your dental implants. Conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis can make you more susceptible to implant failure. For instance, osteoporosis weakens the bones and can cause them to shrink. This can make it difficult for the implants to fuse with the bone properly. Diabetes, on the other hand, can cause issues with healing. This can lead to infections and other complications that can delay or prevent the implants from adequately fusing with the bone.

Smoking

Smoking is known to cause several oral health problems, such as gum disease, tooth loss, and bad breath. But did you know that smoking can also affect the longevity of your dental implants?

Dental implants are designed to fuse with the bone, providing a strong and stable foundation for artificial teeth. However, smoking can impede this process. The chemicals in cigarette smoke can cause bone density loss and impair wound healing. This can lead to dental implants that are loose, unstable, and more likely to fail.

Skill of Dentist

Like with any surgery, choosing a skilled and experienced dentist is essential. Since a poorly fitted implant will be unstable, it is more likely to fail.

To avoid this, research and choose a dentist with a track record for successful dental implant procedures.

Signs that your implant needs replacement

When you experience these telltale signs, it may indicate that you need new implants.

– Inflammation around the implant

– Loose implant gum

– Pain in the implant

Your dentist can help you to determine if you need new implants. They will examine your mouth, take x-rays, and may even order a CT scan. In addition, they will give you tips on how to take care of your implants to prevent future problems.

In conclusion, dental implants are a popular and effective replacement for missing teeth. However, several factors can affect the longevity of your implant. These include age, oral hygiene, existing medical conditions, smoking, and the skill of your dentist. If you experience any signs that your implant needs replacement, be sure to see your dentist immediately.

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