How Long Do Dental Implants Last?


Diagram of dental implants When it comes to replacing missing teeth, you have numerous options today. The discovery of osseointegration led to the invention of dental implants, a treatment that has completely revolutionized how missing teeth are replaced. Dental implants provide many significant benefits, including incredible comfort, a more natural restoration to the functions of your missing teeth, and preserving the integrity of your jawbone. This treatment has been around for several decades now, but there are still several questions about it, including how long dental implants last. North Atlanta Family Dentistry is here to help.

What are Dental Implants?


Dental implants are a modern alternative to bridges and dentures and are used to replace missing teeth. It is an incredibly versatile treatment that can be used to replace an individual tooth or several missing teeth. Implants can even replace an entire arch of teeth. Dental implants consist of 3 components.
•  The post. The post is typically made from titanium and is the actual implant part. It is a small post that is surgically placed into your jawbone. As you heal from the procedure, your bone fuses to the posts in a natural process called osseointegration. This process turns the posts into replacement roots that provide secure, stable support for your replacement teeth.
•  The abutment. The abutment is also called the connector. This piece is placed on the exposed end of your dental implant post. It functions to provide stability for your replacement teeth.
•  The crown. The crown is the actual replacement tooth. Made from ceramic, the crown is made to look exactly like the tooth it is replacing. It restores the functions of the missing tooth and restores the appearance of your smile.

How Long are Dental Implants Expected to Last?


Unlike traditional treatments for tooth loss, dental implants are designed to be a long-term solution. In many cases, they can last a lifetime. The posts are integrated into your jawbone through osseointegration, essentially becoming a part of your jaw. The posts also restore stimulation to your jawbone. No other tooth replacement option can do this. As a result, bridges and dentures need to be replaced every 7 to 10 years to accommodate the changes in the shape of your jawbone.

With the stimulation restored, bone loss in your jaw is stopped and prevented, keeping your jaw strong and healthy. Even if your ceramic crowns wear out or get damaged, they can easily be replaced without having to replace your entire restoration.

What Factors Affect How Long Implants Last?


Even though implants are designed to be a long-term solution, there are certain factors that can affect the success and longevity of your treatment. Factors that affect the lifespan of your implants include:
•  Certain types of medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. If these conditions are not well controlled, they can increase your risk of complications during, and after, implant surgery, which affects the success of the treatment.
•  Smoking or using other tobacco products. Even if your implants have successfully integrated into your jaw, smoking can cause inflammation of your gums and your jawbone. This compromises the stability of your implants.
•  Bruxism. Grinding and clenching can erode the jawbone, compromising implant stability.
•  Where the implants are placed. Implants in the back of the jaw experience greater pressure, which can increase their risk for failure.
•  Poor oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease. In advanced stages of gum disease, bacteria have fallen below the gum line and can begin attacking your jawbone. This weakens the bone, which weakens your implants.

Dental implants are designed to be a long-term, even permanent, solution to tooth loss and have a very high rate of success. For more information, and to find out if dental implants are right for you, call North Atlanta Family Dentistry at (470) 387-0500 today.

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