Over time, dental implants have become a very popular method of tooth replacement. One of the most common concerns people have when choosing a tooth replacement option is longevity. People want to make sure that whatever method they choose will be worth it in the long run. In general, dental implants outlast most tooth replacement options. However, there are certain things that you can do to optimize the lifespan of your dental implants. Read on to find out more about the longevity of dental implants and how to take care of them.
What Makes A Dental Implant
Three components make up a dental implant. These components are made of different materials and are, therefore, expected to behave differently over time. A dental implant consists of an implant post made using titanium or zirconia, an abutment, and a crown.
The implant post is surgically embedded into the jawbone, and it serves as a root for the crown. The abutment is fastened to the implant, and it’s the piece that holds the crown. The crown is a ceramic tooth that is connected to the abutment. This is the part of the implant that looks and acts like a natural tooth.
The Average Lifespan of Dental Implants
Since a dental implant is made up of three components, it’s important to consider these different parts when factoring in how long a dental implant will last. In most instances, the implant post outlasts the other two components because the bone that surrounds the post actively protects it from the factors that can cause damage. Research indicates that implant posts have an average lifespan of 25 years. It’s important to speak with your specialist to get the most accurate information on the longevity of your implants.
The remaining two components, the abutment and crown, are exposed to more elements and in some cases will eventually need to be replaced. The lifespan of these two components will vary depending on the type of material, oral habits, and where the implant is placed.
For instance, a single front tooth dental implant will likely last longer than a back tooth implant. This is because most of the chewing force affects the back teeth which can cause a back tooth implant to wear down faster.
How to Take Care of Dental Implants
It’s important to remember to practice good oral hygiene when you have an implant. It’s recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. This will prevent plaque from building up around the implant area. In addition, try to limit your sugary foods and drinks intake. You will also need to visit the dentist for checkups twice yearly. This will go a long way in extending the lifespan of your implant.
Here are some tips to take care of your dental implants
Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to clean at least twice a day
Use a low-abrasive toothpaste
Floss daily with implant-specific floss
Use an oral irrigator
Use mouthwash at least once per day
Things You Must Avoid
Knowing what to avoid is an important factor in taking care of your implant. Here are some things you must avoid:
Smoking - Smoking can lead to inflammation and weakening of the gums around the implant.
Heavy bites or hard foods - try to avoid foods that apply too much pressure on the implant.
Abrasive cleaning products: avoid abrasive toothpaste and bleach cleansers. These can potentially weaken or cause permanent damage to your implant.
You should also try to avoid grinding your teeth if you have implants. If this is a condition that you suffer from, it’s advisable to seek treatment as soon as possible. There are protective night guards to protect your implants from functional forces. Speak with your dentist if you think a night guard may benefit you.
Most people prefer dental implants over other methods of tooth replacement because they typically last a long time. With that said, it’s crucial to know what to avoid and how to take care of your implants so they last longer. It’s also important to practice good oral hygiene if you want to increase the lifespan of your implants.
If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly team at Sherwood Oral Surgery.