How Long Does a Tooth Implant Last?

The longevity of a dental implant is of much interest to all patients considering it as a treatment option. Many people that have lost teeth would like to avoid a repeat scenario where their implants malfunction (or worse) fall out. For satisfactory answers to all such questions, head to Natural Teeth Implant Center.

With so many potential sources of information on dental implants, there is a risk of not getting accurate and relevant information. Professionals qualified in dentistry will be better equipped to answer questions regarding all aspects of your dental implant procedure.

What is a Dental Implant?

Built to mimic the functionality and appearance of a natural tooth, a dental implant is a structure that helps restore an individual’s chewing ability. The metal post part of the implant is surgically inserted into the jawbone through the gums, after which the crown (visible tooth head) is then affixed.

Most patients do not understand the unrevealed processes that enable a dental implant to become permanently fixed, like natural teeth.

Osseointegration is the gradual process that occurs when the metal post of the dental implant becomes assimilated as part of your jawbone. This fusion provides the solidity required for the crown of the implant to be attached.

Durability is one of the main considerations during the design and placement of a dental implant. Barring unfortunate events, unforeseen medical complications, or surgical inexperience, your dental implant should last well into old age.

With an estimated success rate of about 98%, a dental implant procedure ensures that your implants are properly fitted to last for decades on end.

It should be noted that while the implant is permanent, the crown that adorns its top part will experience gradual wear and thinning due to regular chewing action. As such, the crown may need replacement after about 10 to 15 years from the date of the final dental implant procedure.

Types of Dental Implants

i)Endosteal Implants: Being the most common type of dental implants, they are designed to look screw-like and tiny. After administering anesthetics, your dental surgeon will make a gum incision and drill the jawbone to create an opening to insert the metal post of the implant.

The state of your bone structure will determine if any other dental procedures are required before endosteal implantation. A weak jawbone, for example, may necessitate a bone grafting procedure to strengthen the jawbone before insertion of the implant.

Other such procedures include a sinus graft, also part of the initial jawbone strengthening process before implantation.

ii)Subperiosteal Implants: These types of implants are inserted between the gum and the jawbone, unlike during endosteal implantation. This placement is below the periosteum, a fine tissue layer separating the jawbone from the gum. Subperiosteal implantation is for those that do not wish to undergo bone-strengthening procedures like bone grafting. A less-than sturdy jawbone is also a reason for the insertion of this type of implant.

Your dental surgeon will make a jawbone impression by cutting through the gum to expose the specific area of the jawbone. This impression is crucial for the proper fitting of the implant.

The implant is only placed after this initial incision has healed.

Mini-dental Implants

Although less known, mini-dental implants can be just as effective as regular ones. With a tiny tip of about 3 millimeters, these implants are ideal for those with less jawbone structure. Their size also means that the procedure needed to affix them is less invasive than regular dental implants.

Mini-dental implants are also perfect for helping to keep removable dentures in place. There is no evidence to suggest that these mini implants are less durable than the regular-sized ones.

Causes of Implant Failure

Certain factors can significantly increase the likelihood that your dental implants will fail. These include:

1)Surgical Inexperience

The delicate nature of dental implant procedures means that the margin for errors is almost non-existent. An experienced dental surgeon is better qualified to handle the surgery than a novice. Designing an ideal implant and properly placing it requires high precision and a keen eye, traits that an inexperienced surgeon may lack. Knowing when to attach the crown after the metal post has been in place, for example, requires experience and familiarity that can only come with prolonged practice. Otherwise, problems may arise with the implant later on.

2) Poor Maintenance and Care

Practicing good oral hygiene is just as important for implants as it is for natural teeth. Plaque build-up, for example, can lead to peri-implantitis. While its initial progression is reversible, this condition can cause your implants to fail if left untreated.

Proper daily brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits will go a long way toward maintaining your implants.

A range of other factors can also contribute to implant failure. Smoking, treatment options like radiotherapy, and medical conditions like osteoporosis( weakening of bones) are some of the many factors that will likely cause implant failure.

In a nutshell, your tooth implants should last a long time. The right dental expertise and proper dental care will ensure their durability.