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How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Broken, cracked, or missing teeth not only make it difficult to eat and speak, they have a profound impact on your overall well-being. Constant pain can make it hard to focus, or maybe you avoid smiling or talking to hide gaps. Dental implants replace damaged teeth, which not only alleviates pain but also improves your confidence. 

The guide below will help you decide whether dental implants are right for you. It describes: 

  • Different types of dental implants
  • How to care for them
  • Factors that make you a good implant candidate
  • Advantages of implants over other solutions

To learn more about the dental implant options at Luminae, schedule a free consultation today. We look forward to helping you enhance your smile.

General Life Expectancy of Dental Implants

When cared for properly, high-quality dental implants can last for approximately 25 years. The crown may need to be replaced occasionally. However, the key takeaway here is care. Just like your natural teeth, dental implants last much longer when you brush and floss daily and get regular dental cleanings. 

Other things you can do to preserve your implants include avoiding nicotine and limiting your alcohol intake. These activities can wear down your dental implants quickly, meaning you’ll need to replace them sooner.

Factors Influencing How Long Dental Implants Last

Many different factors can affect the lifespan of your dental implant, from the foods you eat to the strength of your bones. It is essential to consider these factors when getting a dental implant to maximize its usefulness. 

Types of Dental Implants

There are two main types of dental implants. Both types of implants serve the same purpose. However, what type of implant you receive is dictated by the health of your jaw. 

Endosteal

Endosteal is the most common type of dental implant. The Endosteal implant resembles a small screw and is placed into the gum via a small incision. The ‘head of the screw’ protrudes from the gum and acts as a spot for the crown to sit on. Endosteal implants are often made from titanium, though ceramic versions also exist. 

Subperiosteal

Subperiosteal implants are typically used in patients whose jaws are too brittle for an endosteal implant. These implants are not placed in the jawbone; rather, they rest on top of a metal framework placed on the jaw inside the gum. Similar to an endosteal implant, the framework protrudes out of the gum, whereupon the crown is placed. 

Care and Maintenance

Caring for your dental implant, especially while recovering from surgery, is the most effective way to make your implant last longer. 

Post-op patients should rest for 48 hours with no physical activity. This allows the implant to settle and begin to bind to your jaw. Patients should also eat softer foods or drink liquids when hungry immediately following surgery. Harder foods can cause dental implant distress before it has set. 

Caring for dental implants includes using a soft or fine brush. Abrasive brushes can wear down the crown of the implant and may even affect the implant itself. It is important to both brush softly and use a fine brush to make your implant last as long as possible. 

Another way that patients can change their brushing routine to care for their implants is by brushing with an interdental brush. Interdental brushes are designed to reach food in places that other, larger brushes may not be able to reach. 

Bone Health

The health of your bones is a significant factor to consider when receiving dental implants. For the implant to properly fuse to your jaw, there must be enough bone mass to grow around the implant so it can be secured in place. Patients who do not have high enough bone mass may be a candidate for a bone graft to remedy this problem.

Smoking

Smoking has a variety of health risks associated with the habit. One of these is the risk of degrading your dental implant. While smoking, nicotine begins to restrict blood flow to your gums. This weakens the immune system and makes it more difficult for your body to heal. 

For a dental implant to function correctly, it is essential that the implant properly binds to your jaw. Smoking makes this more difficult for the body. That being said, if you smoke, it is still possible for you to receive a dental implant but be conscious of your smoking habits and speak with your dentist.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding can significantly impact the lifespan of a dental implant. For an implant treatment to be successful, the implant must fuse to the jawbone. This process is interrupted by teeth grinding or clenching and increases the chances of implant failure. 

Patients who grind their teeth will have to use a dental guard or other treatments to prevent teeth grinding. This will allow the implant to fuse and work properly. Speak with your dentist to see if dental implants are right for you.

Chewing Habits

Chewing habits are another factor that can affect your implant health. Most people prioritize one side of their mouth when chewing. This side does considerably more work than the other. After surgery, patients may switch the side of the mouth they prioritize because of pain, which can actually deteriorate the jaw bone and begin to negatively affect the implant. It is hard to mitigate this change, so if you notice your chewing habits beginning to change after surgery, speak with your dentist. 

Existing Medical Conditions & Medications

There are a host of different medical conditions that can affect your candidacy for a dental implant. Conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, or pregnancy put you at a higher risk of infection after surgery. This means that an alternative to a dental implant may be a better course of action. Speaking with your dentist and informing them of any pre-existing conditions before surgery is important. 

Advantages of Dental Implants

There are several reasons why dental implants are the best choice for tooth replacement. Below we outline some of the most significant reasons.

Reliability of Dental Implants

One of the reasons that dental implants are such a popular surgery is their reliability. According to the Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, 95% of dental implant surgeries are successful, making them the safest method of replacing a missing tooth. Additionally, if dental implants are cared for properly, they can last a lifetime. 

Dental Implants Feel Real

Dental implants are one of the best substitutes for a natural tooth available. Most patients can’t tell the difference between a natural tooth and their implant and can chew, brush and floss normally. 

Dental Implants Improve Teeth Health

Dental implants don’t just fix aesthetic problems; implants also have practical benefits. Dental implants strengthen remaining teeth and improve jaw health and gum health.

One of the most significant benefits of dental implants is improving tooth stability. Without an implant, the gap from a missing tooth will cause adjacent teeth to shift towards the opening crookedly. This can cause mouth pain, stability, and aesthetic issues as your teeth are pulled out of their natural alignment. An implanted tooth fills this gap and prevents the teeth from shifting, remedying these symptoms.

How to Avoid Dental Implant Failure

Proper dental implant care is essential to get the most out of your surgery. If cared for properly, your implant could last a lifetime. Below we’ll outline how to avoid dental implant failure.

Choose the Right Dentist

Finding the right dentist to perform implant surgery is the first step to avoiding implant failure. If your dental implant is improperly installed, it will fail more quickly, and you may be forced to have another surgery. Prevent this by ensuring you have a professional and reliable dentist before surgery. 

To talk with Dr. Phong Tran Cao D.D.S, an experienced dental surgeon, contact Luminae today.

Prioritize Dental Hygiene 

After surgery, maintaining proper dental hygiene is essential to ensure implant success. Patients are more susceptible to infections or other issues while the mouth is recovering. This makes dental care more critical post-op; brush, floss, and wash your mouth regularly. It is important to mention that while prioritizing dental health after surgery is essential, it is equally important not to overbrush or irritate your teeth.

Avoid Crunchy Foods

Foods like hard candy, apples, nuts, or chips can cause your implant distress after surgery. During recovery, patients should eat softer foods to avoid damaging the implant. Yogurt, applesauce, or steamed vegetables are great options. Your dentist will let you know when you can return to normal eating. This normally takes around two to three months. 

Avoid Smoking or Excessive Drinking

Smoking or excessive drinking can cause damage to healthy teeth. After surgery, your mouth and teeth are more vulnerable, exacerbating these effects. Post-op patients should try to avoid smoking or excessive drinking to ensure a proper recovery. 

Studies have shown that even after recovery from surgery, smokers are still more likely to experience implant failure. Be transparent with your doctor about your smoking habits. This does not disqualify you from receiving an implant, but it is important to consider. 

Dental Implant Replacements

While dental implant failure is not likely, it is possible. In most cases, implants can be replaced or repaired after a failure. Patients will know their implant is failing if the implant starts to become loose or if the surrounding gums become inflamed. The process of replacing a dental implant is different depending on the reason for failure. 

If the implant fails because of bone density, this issue can be resolved by a bone graft. Other replacements may require a customized approach depending on the reason for failure.

Are Dental Implants Right for Me?

Dental implants are the best option for patients looking for a tooth replacement. This surgery is ideal for you if you have lost a tooth or were born without one. The only prerequisites for surgery are that:

  • Your jaw is fully developed.
  • Your jaw bone has the required bone mass for surgery, or your jaw can handle a bone graft.
  • Your gums are in good condition.

If you are unsure about your eligibility for a dental implant, speak with your dentist.

Luminae’s Experienced Surgeons do Implants Right

Dr. Phong D.D.S is an experienced dental surgeon with extensive experience in dental implants. Your smile is one of your most noticeable features and affects many aspects of your overall health, so it’s essential to care for both. Dr. Phong specializes in dental implant surgery and can achieve effective, natural results for your smile. Contact Luminae today to schedule a free consultation.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

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Why Choose Luminae

Are you ready to cultivate your own award-winning smile? Dr. Phong and his team at Luminae will guide you toward a happier, healthier mouth with a wide variety of cosmetic dentistry services in Henderson, NV and Las Vegas.

To schedule a cosmetic dentistry consultation with Dr. Phong in Las Vegas, contact Luminae today.

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