Will dental implants last a lifetime?
Many patients consult with an implant dentist after tooth loss because they want a durable replacement tooth that is unlikely to need to be replaced over time. Dentures and bridges often lose their fit over time as the shape of the jawbone changes, and patients may need to have those appliances adjusted or even get new ones.
Because they stabilize the jaw and limit its erosion, dental implants have greater longevity than other tooth replacement appliances.
When an oral surgeon inserts the implants into the jaw, they form a tight bond with the bone and become a permanent part of the mouth’s structure. Dental implants are designed to serve as artificial tooth roots, replacing a structure that is integral to the stability of the jaw.
Patients may take that part of the tooth for granted because it’s obscured by the gumline, but it’s an essential structure. An implant dentist can provide a treatment that will be structurally complete, rather than merely replacing the crown portion of the tooth. The dental implant is then able to limit further jawbone erosion after tooth loss—the very process that causes bridges and dentures to fail.
So, a dental implant has the potential to replace your missing tooth for decades. Of course, in order to maximize the lifespan of your dental implants, you must take good care of them. This is especially true if your tooth loss was due to decay or gum disease. The oral bacteria that cause those conditions can build up again and may attack the bone, which puts the implant at risk.
In particular, preventing a recurrence of gum disease is a significant concern for dental implant patients. Be sure to follow your dentist’s recommendations for your home oral hygiene routine and schedule check-ups and cleanings at least every six months, and possibly more frequently if you tend to accumulate plaque and tartar quickly.
Dental implants are intended to be a permanent solution for tooth loss. As you go through the treatment process, talk to our oral surgeon, Dr. Carlos Ibanez, about the steps that you will need to take to maximize the devices’ longevity. Call 434-295-0911 for an appointment today.