Everything in this world has a shelf life, an amount of time during which it can be used. This is true of foods and medicines, but it is also true, to a much lesser extent, of objects, and so dental implants also fill this bill. The ads claim that dental implants are for a lifetime, but what does that mean really? Here is a go through of how long your dental implants should last, and what to do to make sure they do last as long as possible.
Expected life of a dental implant
When talking of the longevity of dental implants, we are always talking about decades. These titanium screws should last this long, especially after having been properly accepted by the jawbone. Many dental implants come with manufacturer’s guarantee, which can be 5-10 years, but this does not mean that that is how long the dental implant will last. It simply means that any problems or inconsistencies in the materials should be noticeable in the amount of time allotted, and any problems that happen afterwards are seen as not the fault of the manufacturer or factory, but of the dentist or patient.
Many people get a dental implant and keep them for 30 plus years. It is quite common to hear of 20-25 year old dental implants as well.
But there are certain factors that can severely limit the life of a dental implant. Systemic diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis and other issues that can affect the life of the jawbone can make dental implants fail at any time, and this should be taken into account when getting dental implants, and of course traumas and accidents that can affect the jawbone can also affect the dental implant and the implantation site. But the most significant factor in dental implant failure is oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene can weaken the bones and the soft tissues that surround the dental implant, and can cause massive amounts of bacteria to start to live on the dental implant and the areas covered by it, not to mention any food detritus that may be caught below the crown.
How can your dental implant last for decades?
You can limit the damage and make sure that your dental implants last for years and years to come by showing up twice a year to your dentist’s office. Your dentist will give you a hygiene session and a deep cleaning at these appointments, and will clean around the dental implants, making sure that they last as long as possible. Any problems that may arise separate from oral hygiene issues will also make themselves known at these sessions before the dental implant fails completely. These sessions are absolutely mandatory for everyone with any kind of dental prosthesis.