If you are considering dental implants you may have a few questions about them before you make a decision. One of the most common questions regarding dental implants is how long do they last? Dental implants are made to be a permanent replacement for missing or loose teeth. With proper care, your dental implants can last a very long time, because they are placed firmly into your own jawbone. They do not slip like dentures, dental bridges, and crowns, and function very much like natural teeth. They can withstand chewing and biting and they look like natural teeth too. The natural look of dental implants can preserve your smile which improves your confidence. But, do dental implants last forever? As we all know, nothing lasts forever, but proper maintenance can help your dental implants to last up to 25 years.
The Components of a Dental Implant
To help you fully realize the lasting power of dental implants, you should first understand the components of a dental implant. There are three parts to a dental implant and each part serves a different purpose. Below are the three basic components to a dental implant…
-The Implant: The implant is a post which is placed into the jawbone of the patient. It serves as a root for the prosthetics, or the crown. This is usually made of titanium because it is compatible with the human body and will not deteriorate.
-The Abutment: The abutment is placed onto the implant. While the implant is placed into the jawbone, the abutment stays above the gumline and serves to hold the prosthetics in place.
-The Crown: The crown is the part that looks like a natural tooth. It is fastened to the abutment which is above the gumline. Crowns are normally made of ceramic because it looks very close to a natural tooth.
Because the crown and abutment are exposed and above the gumline, they are the parts that are more vulnerable to damages or deterioration. The implant, a titanium post placed into the jawline, really can last up to 25 years with proper care.
How to Take Care of Dental Implants
The longevity of your implants depends on how well you care for them. First, you will need to practice impeccable oral hygiene. That means brushing and flossing at least two times a day. Continue to schedule biannual visits to your dentist for routine cleanings and x rays. Make sure you use your new teeth in a safe manner, do not try to open anything with your teeth. Cut back on chewing hard foods, this can cause wear and tear to your implants. Also consider cutting back on drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco. Drinkers and smokers have a higher risk for damaging their implants or implant failure. It may also be wise to reduce your coffee or tea consumption, as these beverages can stain the dental implants. So, while they won’t damage the structure of your implants, they can affect the aesthetic of them. Remember to ask your dentist or oral surgeon any questions you may have about the after care of dental implants so that you have all the information you will need to keep them in good condition.