Dental implants are a popular choice for long-term tooth replacement, but how long do they really last? The answer depends on several factors, but for most patients, dental implants truly do last a lifetime. Tooth replacement technology has advanced to the point where implants rarely fail due to rejection or functionality. Dr. Jacob McLauchlin of MAC Dental in Nixa, MO encourages patients to maintain a healthy oral health regimen to keep their implants for a lifetime.
What Is A Dental Implant Made Of?
Dental implants last a long time because of the materials they’re made of.
1. Implant: The biocompatible metal material that is surgically placed into the jawbone, serving as the root of the new tooth.
2. Abutment: The abutment is fastened to the implant and anchors the crown in place.
3. Crown: The ceramic false tooth attached to the abutment, providing the look and function of a natural tooth.
The crown and abutment are most susceptible to damage due to normal wear and tear, but the implant itself typically lasts much longer and is less likely to need replacement. Crown replacement is much simpler than having the implant replaced.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
The implant itself can last a lifetime with regular brushing and flossing. Avoiding gum disease by maintaining good oral hygiene will ensure the jawbone does not recede or decay, keeping the implant in place. The crown may need to be replaced after 10 to 15 years since it is involved in biting and chewing. This largely depends on your oral hygiene, although mouth location is also a factor in the life of a dental implant. Implant crowns near the back of the mouth, such as a molar replacement, are used to grind food, which may require replacement sooner than crowns in the front of the mouth.
Dental Implants vs. Other Tooth Replacement Options
Implants are designed to be a permanent tooth loss solution and has become the most-recommended tooth replacement option. Implants can withstand biting and chewing without slipping, unlike dentures which require the patient to re-secure them in the mouth. Unlike dentures or dental bridges, implants are permanent and remain in the mouth to be cleaned just like natural teeth. They also preserve the health of your mouth by taking the root of the natural tooth, stimulating jaw bone growth and keeping it from receding.
How Can Dental Implants Fail?
As with all medical procedures, there is small potential for premature implant failure. Patients with pre-existing medical conditions such as cancer or diabetes have a higher risk of implant failure. Poor oral hygiene can also lead to implant problems, as gum disease can affect jawbone stability and possibly the implant itself.
Dental Implants in Nixa, MO
If you need a long-term tooth replacement, dental implants may be a solution for you. Dr. McLauchlin consults individually with patients to help them determine the best treatment for their needs and budget. For a consultation with Dr. McLauchlin about dental implants or any other dental concern, please call 888.488.3049 or schedule online.