Almost half of all Americans are missing at least one tooth. Fortunately, modern times have provided amazing teeth replacement options, like dental implants! As the gold standard of tooth loss solutions, they are the only option that recreates the entire structure of the lost tooth, from the root up through the crown. But how long can you expect your complete smile to last? Here’s everything to know so you can get the most out of your pearly whites for as long as possible.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Your newly rebuilt smile can last a lifetime if you take excellent care of it! Dental implants replace the entire tooth, including the roots. Unlike dentures and dental bridges, they have a firm foundation in the jawbone. This gives it the unique ability to provide lifelong stability and longevity. By maintaining an excellent oral health routine, your dental implant can have a long life.
But what if you neglect to practice your dental routine consistently? There is a risk you could develop a condition called peri-implantitis, which is the leading cause of dental implant failure. This infection in the gums is often the result of bad oral hygiene and will destroy the connective tissues that help hold the dental implant in place.
Fortunately, keeping good habits like regular brushing, flossing, and biannual checkups are essentially all that’s needed to keep peri-implantitis at bay! The restoration that your dental implant supports (i.e. a dental crown, bridge, or denture) will naturally wear down over time and eventually need to be replaced. However, these typically last much longer than their traditional counterparts. However, the dental implant itself (which is the titanium post that replaces the roots of a missing tooth) is likely to last for many decades to come!
How Do I Properly Care for Dental Implants?
As previously stated, you can expect your dental implants to last a lifetime with proper maintenance. But what exactly does that entail? Here are some suggestions to help you extend the life of your dental implants:
- Avoid Smoking: Nicotine buildup from smoking negatively influences the blood supply to your gums. This increases your chances of dental implant failure and is often a huge contributing factor when an implant isn’t successful.
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Even though your replacement tooth isn’t susceptible to decay, the tissue around it is still likely to develop periodontal disease like your natural teeth. As stated above, regular brushing and flossing are a must to keep your implants in good shape for a long period of time.
- Be Cautious: There won’t be any food restrictions after your implants have finished healing, but you should still be especially careful when consuming things that are particularly hard or sticky. Do not use your teeth as tools for opening or tearing things because you could damage your implant.
Dental implants are a wonderful tooth replacement option with many benefits. Their lifespan is different for everyone, but with the proper care, they can last for years to come!
About the Author
Dr. Daniel Weldon earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine from the University of Florida College of Dentistry and completed the Implant Educators Comprehensive course at the world-renowned Spear Education. He can restore your smile and complete the entire dental implant process under one roof. With many years of experience, he provides the best tooth loss solutions in Ocala. If you would like to learn more about how to make your dental implant last or schedule a consultation, contact him through his website or call (352) 509-5761.