Have you ever experienced the uncomfortable reality of losing a tooth? A tooth is not indestructible, and can part ways from the smile due to a variety of complications. These include having it fall out as a result of a physical blow, or requiring its extraction after severe damage or infection (tooth decay).
With a now incomplete smile, many patients choose to opt in for a significant restorative procedure- a dental implant! These feats of dentistry are nothing short of amazing, and are near permanent vehicles to transform a smile.
You may be thinking, “just how permanent are they?” To gain a better understanding; let’s review their process, lifespan, and tips to ensure they last as long as possible!
A Near Permanent Solution
Dental implants are truly incredible solutions to restore an incomplete smile. Consisting of a titanium crafted post, abutment, and artificial crown atop, these components combine to permanently fuse into the fabric of the smile.
The components of the implant play a substantial role in ensuring its long lifespan. In fact, being crafted from titanium, the post is some of the most durable material known to humankind. Additionally, the artificial tooth (crown) which tops it off, is crafted from impressive professional grade substances such as porcelain, resin, and ceramic, which match the durability of natural teeth.
Beyond the durable materials, the permanency of implants is also ensured through their unique installation process.
Unlike other restorative procedures, implants are permanently fused into the very fabric of your smile. To achieve such a feat, the professional ensures that you boast a healthy enough jawbone density to withstand the titanium post being drilled into it. Acting as an artificial tooth root, this post will never shift or decay and provides a more than capable foundation for the crown atop. To give you a better idea of its reliability, titanium is often used by NASA to construct its space craft!
Ensuring A Long Lifespan
If properly tended, dental implants will seldom require consideration for replacement until around 20 or so years later. If oral care habits fall short throughout the years, expect a replacement after 5-10 years.
Remember, this 20-year estimate is based on the crown, and not the actual post itself. As artificial teeth, even if crafted from the more expensive and higher quality substances, will eventually fall victim to typical wear and tear. Requiring a substitution at some point to maintain your smile’s restored look and function.
The titanium post, which anchors the implant into the foundation of the smile, will ideally never be replaced! Lasting you a lifetime, this post scientifically becomes part of your anatomy through coined “osseointegration”. The process of the material of the implant amalgamating itself with the natural bone and tissue of the area, and bonding them together permanently.
While this process is demanding, if you abide by the instructions of a dental professional well versed in implants, you need worry not. As the vast majority of patient’s receiving this procedure experience smooth sailing in its initial few weeks, and keep their implants for decades through adopting professional guidelines.
Factors to Keep an Eye On
To ensure your implant lasts as long as possible, it’s important to not take it for granted! Some patients learn that artificial teeth are immune to developing their infections naturally, like tooth decay, and then neglect their oral health, believing implants to be indestructible. And while they are dental miracles, implants can still cause a plethora of troubling issues if not properly attended to.
It’s true that an artificial tooth cannot develop its own cavity. However, its immediate area, especially the sensitive bone and tissue it’s fused into, is still in danger of developing bacteria infections, gum disease, and so much more. To avoid these issues, it’s crucial to follow all the guidelines your professional informs you of. As having a serious health complication arise and needing an implant removed as a result is not a fun time!
To guarantee your implant lasts as long as possible, it’s recommended you take these key factors into consideration and application!
- Taking care of them the same as natural teeth by brushing twice daily, and flossing at least once.
- Keeping the surrounding gum tissue as healthy as possible.
- Participating in routine dental appointments, at least twice a year.
- Avoiding habits which can chip or crack teeth like chewing on pen caps or opening bottles with your mouth.
- Communicating changes in your bodily health to your dentist, as certain conditions like diabetes or osteoporosis can lead to issues throughout the smile.
- Avoiding the usage of all tabaco products!