Dental implant placement is a surgical process that is meant to produce lasting results. If you're thinking about getting an implant, you should be aware of how long implants are supposed to last and what you can do to ensure a long life for your dental implant.
How long will a dental implant last?
Dental implants are divided into three parts: the post in the jaw, the abutment that attaches to the crown, and the crown itself. The post in the jaw is meant to last a lifetime and will endure for many decades if properly cared for. The crown part of the implant may have a shorter lifespan because it experiences the majority of wear and tear in the mouth. At the bare minimum, you can expect to get several years of use out of the crown. According to studies, 95% of dental implants last for more than 5 years with proper care.
What can cause dental implant failure?
There are many different factors that can cause dental implant failure, including:
- Tooth grinding. Tooth grinding places a lot of pressure on the teeth. This habit can cause premature failure of the crown.
- Poor dental hygiene practices. Poor dental hygiene practices can cause gum inflammation and bone loss. Bone is needed to hold the surgical post in place, and without it, the entire implant could fail.
- Smoking. Smoking places patients at high risk for periodontal disease, causing bone loss and infection that can also lead to the failure of a dental implant.
What can you do to ensure a long life for your dental implant?
- See your dentist as often as recommended. Many dentists will recommend that their patients see them once or twice per year. Come to the dentist as often as you are asked to ensure that you have good oral hygiene.
- Take good care of your oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice each day, and use any special dental implant brushes and toothpaste to care for your implant to ensure that your mouth is healthy and your implant is clean.
- Don't smoke or stop smoking. It's best to stop smoking before your implant is put into your mouth because smoking draws out the healing process after the implant is installed.
- Wear a night guard if you are affected by bruxism. Night guards protect your teeth (including your implant) when you grind them at night.
For more information about how you can protect your dental implant and extend its lifespan, talk your dentist.