Dental implants do an essential job of providing a permanent tooth replacement when you have lost teeth. They require intensive skill, planning and commitment so it is no surprise that most patients want to know how long do dental implants last before they go ahead with treatment. Today we are going to take a closer look at dental implants and what sort of lifespan you can expect from them before you make an investment.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are most commonly created from titanium. They are small metal screws that are anchored into your jawbone in a surgical procedure. After a period of osseointegration they actually fuse with your jaw and become part of your body. Once this has happened your dentist can affix a dental crown on top of an implant so that it looks like the other teeth in your mouth.
Why Are Dental Implants The Preferred Method Of Tooth Replacement?
Unlike dentures and dental bridges, dental implants replace missing teeth at the root. This means they cannot be removed or move around when you are talking or eating. It also means that they prevent further bone loss from occurring – which is the case when you wear dentures or a dental bridge.
A well crafted dental crown on top of your dental implant means that the implanted tooth can bite and chew with the same amount of force as the rest of the teeth in your mouth.
What Does Implant Surgery Entail?
Having dental implant surgery really is a commitment because it isn’t just one singular session. Once you have had an initial assessment your dental practitioner will prepare a treatment plan which will detail all the steps that need to be followed to replace your tooth.
You can expect to return to your dentist’s office a few times in order to complete the process, which may include:
If your tooth has been missing for a while it is quite likely that you will have experienced some bone loss. This could mean that you do not have enough jaw bone to support a dental implant. But if you tick all the right eligibility boxes, you may be able to have a bone graft so that your jaw regenerates.
Depending on how much more bone is needed, it could be possible to have the bone graft done just before the placement of your implant. This is usually the case when you need a minor graft. If you need more bone however your dentist will want to do a separate procedure and place the implant after a few months.
Placing The Implant
Placing the implant is done under anaesthetic. An incision is made into your gum and jaw bone and a titanium implant is screwed in. you will then need to wait for a few months in order for the implant to integrate with your jaw so that it is strong and solid enough to support the extension and the dental crown.
Attaching The Abutment
Once your dentist is confident that the implant has integrated well, it will be time to place the abutment or extension, which is the connecting piece between the dental implant and your crown. In order to do this the surgical site will have to be reopened and once complete, it will be stitched up again. Then you will endure another period of healing before returning for the placement of your dental crown. Your dentist will give you a temporary crown to wear while this takes place.
Placing The Dental Crown
After another few months, you will return for the placement of your permanent crown. Your dentist will make sure that it matches the other teeth in terms of size and colour.
So How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
As you can see, a dental implant isn’t a procedure that you want to have to repeat too often in the future. It requires a great deal of commitment on your part so you need to be sure that it has longevity.
Different dental implant brands have different lifespans and guarantees, so it is worth discussing your options with your dentist prior to treatment.
Ultimately with proper care and exemplary dental hygiene, your dental implant could last for the rest of your lifetime. On average you can expect a lifespan of between five and 15 years, but most patients prefer for their implant to last as long as possible. In order for this to occur you do need to follow a rigorous hygiene routine of twice-daily brushing and flossing. You must also visit your dentist at least twice a year.
Complications After Implant Surgery
Peri implantitis is a potential complication after implant surgery that can result in implant failure so it is essential that you follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions very carefully in the days and weeks following your procedure. Keeping your mouth clean is essential to prevent an infection at the dental implant site.
Speaking to a professional is the most accurate way to find out whether implants are suitable for your tooth replacement. To find out more about how long do dental implants last, please contact us:
Phone: (02) 9158 6213
Pyrmont NSW 2009
Phone: (02) 9158 6756
Illawong, NSW 2234
Phone: (02) 9159 6083
Sylvania Waters NSW 2224