If you are considering replacing one or more missing teeth with a dental implant, you probably know that they are a great long-term option. How long, exactly, do dental implants last? Will you need to have them replaced at some point? Dr. Sean Feely of Ramona Family Dentistry shares the answer here.
The Lifespan of Dental Implants
Dental implants generally last a very long time. Modern implant technology has led to the development of advanced implants that are strong and durable and can withstand years of chewing and biting forces. With the proper care and attention, implants can last a lifetime without problems.
However, the fact that dental implants can last so long does not mean that every patient enjoys the same results. The longevity of dental implants depends on several factors, including the following:
- The skill of the dentist that places the implants
- The patient’s oral hygiene practices
- Whether the patient chews or bites down on hard items (e.g., pencils) or opens things (e.g., bottle caps) with the teeth
- Where they are placed in the mouth (implants in the back of the mouth fail more quickly than those in the front of the mouth)
Proper Care and Attention Is Critical
The most common reason why implants do not last a lifetime is poor oral hygiene habits. Implants must be brushed and flossed daily, and a dentist must regularly examine the implant and surrounding teeth to ensure the implant is healthy and functioning properly.
Without these practices and the watchful eye of the dentist, bacteria can gradually build up, leading to inflammation around the implant. Left untreated, inflammation can turn into gum disease, which threatens the health of the jawbone that holds the implant. Eventually, gum disease can cause the jawbone to deteriorate and the implant to fall out.
General health habits are also important to the long-term success of dental implants. Individuals with implants should follow a healthy diet, drink lots of water, exercise regularly, get quality sleep and avoid smoking. Existing medical conditions should be controlled with the prescribed medicine and monitored by a physician to ensure they do not progress and threaten oral health.
Contact Ramona Family Dentistry
For more information about replacing one or more teeth with dental implants, please contact Ramona Family Dentistry and request a consultation with Dr. Feely. Call (760) 789-0170 or email us today to make your appointment.