Do Dental Implants Last Forever?

Dental implants are considered to be the treatment of choice when it comes to replacing one or more missing teeth. They offer many benefits over traditional tooth replacement methods such as dentures and fixed bridges, allowing patients to continue living their lives normally in comfort and in confidence. The materials with which they are made are manufactured to withstand the changeable pH environment of the mouth as well as daily use and necessary cleaning.

Though implants are typically placed and intended as a permanent solution to a lost tooth, there are a number of factors that play a role in how long they actually last.

Proper Oral Hygiene Following Placement

After an implant has been placed, the titanium post that serves as a new root will fuse with the bone of the jaw. The prosthetic tooth attached to this implanted post should be cared for in the same way that natural teeth are, from twice-daily brushing and flossing to being cleaned professionally at biannual visits to a qualified dental professional.

Health of Jaw Bone

A long-lasting dental implant is only as good as the bone to which it is fused. Excellent candidates for dental implants are individuals whose jaw presents a sufficient amount of strong, healthy bone in which to insert the titanium post.

Lifestyle and Habits

People who smoke are at an inherently higher risk of developing periodontal disease and generally suffer from poorer circulation than do nonsmokers. In order to ensure your implant’s longest life possible, it is highly encouraged that you refrain from smoking before and after placement.

Taking a Proactive Approach

The simple answer to the question “How long do dental implants last?” should ideally be “a lifetime.” If all variables — including patient care, implant location and health of the jaw bone — align properly, an implant can potentially endure throughout the entirety of the patient’s life. The very first dental implants, placed decades ago, are still functioning properly today.

One of the primary reasons that some dental implants do fail involves improper care of the gums and surrounding teeth. Periodontal disease is known to result in tooth loss in men and women of varying ages. The manner in which this condition causes tooth loss also leads to the loss of implants. As the gums recede and expose the roots of the teeth, the tissues that secure them within the bone of the jaw are gradually damaged.

Preventing conditions like gingivitis and advanced periodontal disease increases the chances that your implants will last a lifetime. Swollen gums and bleeding while brushing or flossing are symptoms of gum disease that may compromise the integrity of your dental implants.

Any patients experiencing pain, inflammation or other symptoms of periodontitis should visit a qualified oral surgeon immediately so as to ensure the longevity of their dental implants and natural teeth. With the right kind of care and regular dentist visits, it is possible to make implants, an invaluable part of your smile, last forever.

Face and Jaw Surgery Center serves all of North Dakota and North West Minnesota including Moorhead, MN and East Grand Forks, MN

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