How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants are one of the best ways to replace missing teeth. In fact, many general dentists recommend placing dental implants as a restoration for one or more missing teeth. This is because dental implants are the closest restoration method to natural teeth and offer patients an array of benefits.
However, placing dental implants can be a lengthy process that has many people wondering if undergoing this process is actually worth it. Like other dental restorations, dental implants will wear down over time and will need to be replaced at some point. Therefore, one main thing people wonder is how long dental implants last and at what point will they have to undergo the implant procedure again.
The good news is that dental implants are extremely long-lasting. In fact, out of all the various dental treatments available, dental implants are the longest lasting. This is due in part to the fact that dental implants are designed to fuse with the surrounding jaw bone to anchor themselves in place. On average, dental implants can last around 20 years, and there have even been cases where they can last longer than that.
However, it is important to realize that the dental prosthetic attached to the implant will likely need to be replaced at some point. In most cases, prostheses such as crowns, bridges, and dentures can last about 10-15 years if cared for properly. Additionally, replacing a dental prosthetic attached to an implant does not mean that the entire implant must be replaced. Once the implant has fused in place, it will remain in the jawbone. This means that the dental prosthetic can be replaced without disturbing the dental implant.
Dental implants are generally only removed if the implant fails. Since dental implants have a 98% success rate, implant failure is extremely rare. However, it can happen in cases where patients fail to adhere to post-operative guidelines. Exposing a healing implant to too much force before it has properly fused can cause it to become loose or to heal incorrectly. Both things can result in implant failure and the eventual removal of the implant.
To minimize the risk of implant failure, it is highly important to follow all post-operative guidelines provided to you by your implant dentist. The success of your dental implant is directly correlated with patient compliance, therefore temporary dietary restrictions and behavioral changes are a necessary part of allowing your dental implant to last for twenty years.
Another way to ensure the lifespan of your dental implants is to practice good oral hygiene during and after the recovery period is over. During the recovery period, your implant dentist will likely provide you with specific hygiene practices. After recovery, you will simply need to keep your mouth clean by brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting your general dentist about once every six months for a dental cleaning.
While dental implants have the ability to last 20 years or longer, their lifespan is directly associated with how well you take care of them. Although the attached prosthetic will likely need to be replaced at some point, dental implants themselves should be able to remain in place. In order to accomplish this, however, dental implants must be properly cared for during and after the initial recovery period due to their dependence on patient compliance for success and longevity.
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