Your natural teeth are meant to last a lifetime. However, people may lose one or more teeth due to trauma, decay, or periodontal disease. Thanks to the advancements in dental technology, dental implants can be a long-term replacement for those missing teeth. But exactly how long can you expect to have your dental implants?
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a titanium screw that is inserted into the jawbone and serves as an anchor to which one or more artificial teeth can be attached. Dental implants do not decay and do not require filing down adjacent teeth, like dental bridges. Dental implants can also be used to stabilize loose dentures. They function and appear as your natural teeth in almost every way, helping you to retain the natural shape of your face and smile.
The Longevity of Dental Implants
High-quality dental implants that are properly done by an experienced dental specialist in a healthy person can last for over 25 years. However, this longevity requires that the implants remain fused to the jawbone and that the mechanical strength of the artificial teeth is strong enough to withstand daily use. These two conditions can be affected by multiple factors:
Your Health: Medications or changes in your overall health can compromise the stability of a dental implant in the jaw. Specifically, smoking and uncontrolled diabetes are two things that can negatively impact your dental implants.
Your Oral Hygiene: Although implants cannot develop cavities like your natural teeth, they can be affected by something similar to periodontal disease, so you should care for your implants as you would your natural teeth. This means brushing and flossing regularly.
Use of Artificial Teeth: A diet that contains a significant amount of hard foods, constantly grinding and clenching your teeth can cause significant wear on the artificial teeth.
Location: Dental implants that are located towards the back of the mouth can be under more strain and pressure. This can result in the artificial teeth in the back of the mouth being worn out more quickly and needing to be replaced.
At Trailhead Dental, we offer many solutions for missing teeth, including dental implants. It is necessary to have sufficient bone structure and healthy gums to support dental implants. For answers to questions about dental implants, call us today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Limmer to learn more.