What is the lifespan of a dental implant?

tooth replacement CharlottesvilleIn the last decade or so, dental implants have become the most popular method for tooth replacement among dental professionals and patients alike. Dental implants offer a full restoration of oral function as well as appearance.

These biocompatible replacement teeth are low maintenance and incredibly durable. In fact, implants are so durable that patients who care for them properly and receive routine oral healthcare checkups and cleanings, may enjoy their replacement teeth for decades or up to a lifetime. Our oral surgeons have extensive experience placing dental implants. Following are some answers to common questions about this tooth replacement method.

What are dental implants made of?

The dental implant itself is a titanium cylinder that is only a few millimeters in diameter. It is surgically placed into the jawbone where it will function as the replacement to a missing tooth’s root. The implant will ultimately be used to support a prosthetic that replaces the visible structures of missing teeth. For instance, a single dental implant may hold a dental crown or bridge while multiple implants may be used to support a full arch of teeth (denture).

Prosthetics like crowns and bridges can be constructed from white materials like porcelain, precious metals like gold or silver, and a combination of both that is called “porcelain-fused-to-metal.” As for dentures, these prosthetics are made from a combination of porcelain to mimic the structure of teeth and pink-colored acrylic to resemble the gums.

How do I care for dental implants?

Once the dental implant is stable in the gums, caring for prosthetic teeth is relatively simple. Patients with an implant as a tooth replacement will simply brush and floss as normal. By practicing meticulous oral hygiene and committing to receiving regular cleanings and checkups, these prosthetic teeth greatly increase the longevity of their implants as gum disease and bone atrophy can affect the livelihood of both biological teeth and replacement teeth.

To learn more about dental implants, call one of our convenient office locations to reserve a consultation with our oral surgeons.