Considering the lifespan for dental implants is imperative, as they represent a significant investment of time, energy, and money for a patient needing a tooth replacement. The average lifespan of a dental implant is twenty-five years. Factors to understand include the advantages of dental implants over older methods of tooth replacement, the structure of a dental implant, and how patient care can increase an implant’s longevity.
The Advantages of Dental Implants
Before dental implant technology, a patient wishing to replace missing teeth could chose between a bridge or dentures. While both measures adequately replace teeth, a bridge has a lifespan of seven to ten years, while dentures need refitting or replacement every five to ten years. A well designed and placed implant is designed to last twenty five years, but has the potential to last a lifetime.
The design of a bridge requires that it be attached to neighboring teeth, thereby its lifespan is dependent upon the health of the adjacent teeth. A dental implant is self-supporting, so once it is placed by a highly qualified oral surgeon, it becomes a permanent part of the mouth.
The Structure of a Dental Implant
The way in which dental implants are designed and placed significantly impacts the longevity of this type of tooth replacement. The oral surgeon places an artificial root into the patient’s jawbone to replace the root of the tooth that was lost. The device actually fuses with the bone over time and permanently becomes a part of the mouth. By replacing the root, the implant prevents jaw erosion for the patient over time. The implant itself is also resistant to decay.
Patient Care to Increase Longevity of Dental Implants
Just as with natural teeth, the patient plays a large role in determining the long term health and longevity of the tooth replacement. Poor oral hygiene contributes to tooth loss and will also negatively impact the lifespan of a dental implant. After implant, a patient should develop excellent brushing and flossing habits to help their implant last for decades. Additionally, regular dental exams and professional cleanings will positively contribute toward maintaining a healthy dental implant for years to come.
If you would like to know more about dental implant technology, contact the board certified and experienced oral surgeons at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. Schedule a consult to discuss the lifespan of dental implants and find out if you are a good candidate for this procedure.