Dental Implants: Do They Last a Lifetime?

Missing teeth affect someone’s quality of life in a real way. Not only is it harder to eat and speak, but there’s also a loss of self-confidence that comes with having gaps in your smile. Dental implants are one solution that can replace missing teeth and help you regain your confidence.

But do they last a lifetime? Read on to find out.

What Are Dental Implants?

These are screw-like metal posts, made of titanium or zirconia, that a dentist or oral surgeon places in your gum through surgery. The goal is to provide support and retention to replacement teeth, such as dental crowns, dentures or bridges.

But it’s important to note that implant surgery is not for everybody. You can know if you are eligible for the procedure when you book a consultation with your dentist. They will assess your overall mouth condition and ask about your medical history to see if there are any contraindications.

In general, you need to have the following qualifications to be a good candidate for this treatment:

  • Good oral health. This means you don’t have gum disease and your teeth and gums are healthy.
  • Adequate bone in your jaw. This is necessary to support the implant. If you don’t have enough, a bone graft may be required. Bone graft is a procedure wherein they will place bone material in your jaw to encourage growth and provide support for the implants.
  • Healthy lifestyle. Smoking tobacco and drinking excessively can decrease the success rate of dental implants.
  • Realistic expectations. You must understand the limitations and risks of dental implants and the time commitment required for the entire process, which can take several months.
  • Commitment to oral hygiene. You should be willing to brush and floss regularly and see your dentist for follow-up appointments.

Benefits of Dental Implants

There are several benefits of implants, such as:

  • Durable and can last for many years
  • Look and feel like natural teeth
  • Allow you to eat your favorite foods
  • Improve your speech
  • Maintain the shape of your face
  • Preserve your existing teeth
  • Provide support for dental bridges and dentures, making them more comfortable to wear

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How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

On average, dental implants last between 10 to 15 years. But with proper care, their lifespan can be up to 25 years or more.

To help maintain your results, consider these tips below:

  • Brush at least twice a day and floss regularly.
  • See your dentist or oral surgeon for regular check-ups and cleanings.
  • Don’t use your teeth as tools (for example, to open bottles or rip tape).
  • If you can’t quit smoking, try to cut back as much as possible.
  • Follow your dentist’s instructions as they are vital for the success of your implants.

Also, looking for experienced dentists (such as Atglen Family Dentistry) is important because this dental surgery requires skills and experience. While it is a common procedure, it is invasive and can fail if not done correctly. This is especially true if the implants are not placed in the right location or placed too close to the nerve, which can result in nerve damage.

Final Thoughts

Dental implants can help you achieve a more beautiful smile and regain your confidence. In addition, they can help restore the function of your teeth, making it easier for you to eat and speak. Although they are not designed to last a lifetime, dental implants can last for many years with proper care.