How long do dental implants last? If you have a missing tooth, you might be considering dental implant surgery. Many people with missing teeth find themselves covering their mouth when they laugh and smiling with closed lips. In addition to embarrassment, you could also be at risk of bone decay, infections, and a collapsing facial structure.
For Australians looking for a more permanent solution to their missing teeth problems than dentures, dental implants are an excellent option. They look like natural teeth, require no unique cleaning routine, and come with multiple health benefits. They also can last up to 25 years, and some components could last even longer.
At Dentistry on Solent, we offer traditional dental implant surgery and an innovative method called DIO Implant. Regardless of the method you choose, your dental implants will be secure and restore your smile and confidence.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant consists of a tiny, titanium screw that sits directly in your jawbone, the abutment (a small hook), and the artificial tooth or crown. The only visible part of the dental implant is the artificial tooth or crown. The other two components sit beneath your gums.
One of the reasons that dental implants are so popular is their multiple health benefits.
Missing teeth can result in bone decay over time. Because the dental implant sits in your jawbone, it begins a process called osseointegration. After your first implant surgery, the dental implant and your jawbone will begin to fuse. This fusion increases the strength and density of your jawbone, which helps maintain your facial structure and protect your existing teeth from specific problems.
Missing teeth also often come with an increased risk of infection. Food particles can get stuck in the gap, and it’s challenging to thoroughly clean the gaps, particularly if they are near the back of the mouth.
You also may find yourself unable to enjoy your favourite foods with one or missing teeth. Many people struggle to eat hard or chewy foods like apples or steak. Because dental implants act like natural teeth, you’ll no longer need to avoid your favourite foods.
Lastly, missing teeth sometimes cause a shift in your remaining teeth. This shift can result in multiple small gaps, which can be difficult to clean and affect your smile.
DIO Implant System vs. Traditional Implant Surgery
Both systems often require two surgeries, but the DIO Implant Method improves on the traditional implant surgery method in several ways. Instead of slicing through the gum, the DIO Implant Method uses a computer guidance system to place the dental implant through the gums, resulting in a short surgery, less bleeding, and a faster recovery time.
However, both surgery methods do require waiting for the osseointegration process.
For some patients, the dentist may attach the abutment and potentially the crown during the first surgery.
However, it’s also possible that your jaw will require more time to heal and fuse to the bone, meaning you’ll need to wait several months between appointments.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Because dental implants consist of three separate components, it’s important to look at the lifespan of each component. In general, your dental implant will last around 25 years.
If you see your dentist for regular cleanings (around twice a year), the titanium screw will likely last the rest of your life. Once it fuses to the bone, it becomes integral to your jaw, and, barring an accident or complication, will not need further attention.
If your abutment is also made of titanium, it will also likely last a lifetime.
The artificial tooth or crown is the least durable part of the dental implant, and will likely be the only component that needs to be replaced. Depending on the material, you will need to replace your crown every 5 to 15 years. Crowns can be made of porcelain, ceramic, or pressed ceramic. Ask your dentist about what the best material is for you, and how long it will last.
Another factor that influences the answer to the question “how long do dental implants last?” is daily care. First, you must follow any specific dental implant surgery aftercare instructions from your dentist in the days, weeks, and months as you heal.
Once you’ve received your crown, you’ll need to commit to a daily routine. Brush and floss your teeth twice daily, and use mouthwash if your dentist recommends it. In addition, avoid smoking and drinking too many sugary drinks.
How to Protect Your Dental Implant
Many missing teeth and other dental problems stem from either accidents or improper hygiene. To ensure your dental implant lasts as long as possible, there are few steps you can take, both immediately following your implant surgery and in the years to come.
Be Careful During Sports
If you play football, volleyball, or other contact sports, you’ll want to take a break after your implant surgery. Once you’ve fully healed, you can return to exercise, but consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth.
Smokers are twice as likely to experience gum disease than non-smokers. Smoking lowers your immune system, making your body less able to combat a gum infection, and can also interfere with your body’s healing process and any treatments your dentist prescribes.
If you would like to learn more about receiving dental implants, contact the team at Dentistry on Solent today. We can arrange an initial consultation for you and answer all your questions about dental implants, and perform a thorough oral examination.
Because we offer both the DIO Implant Method and traditional dental implant surgery, we can create a tailored surgery plan for each individual. Call us today on (02) 9158 6137 to book your appointment in Baulkham Hills.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.