Dental implants have changed the way both dentists and patients look at tooth loss. One of the major advantages of dental implants is their longevity. The more traditional treatments like dental bridges generally last anywhere between 10-15 years or so. While dentures can last longer but need constant adjustment. Dental implants with proper care can last a lifetime.

How To Care For Dental Implants?

Dental implants can fail for any number of reasons. The usual culprits can include periodontal disease, poor dental hygiene, and smoking. Dental implants are considered to be a failure if they show any movement at all. This movement can occur when the bone and gum tissues surrounding the dental implant break down.

Listed below are a few simple steps you can do to help protect the stability of your dental implants:

-See Your Dentist Regularly For Routine Examinations And Professional Cleanings.

-Maintain Dental Hygiene. This should include brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once per day.

-Use An Antibacterial Moutwash. This will diminish the amount of harmful oral bacteria in the mouth.

Factors That Lead To Dental Implant Failure

-Failed Integration of Dental Implants - This occurs when the bone of the jaws does not grow and fuse between the threads of the dental implant. This fusion between the bone and dental implant is called osseointegration. If osseointegration does not occur, the dental implants will become loose, or come out completely. To reduce this risk, your implant dentist will evaluate the quality and quantity of the jaw bone prior to surgery. This will allow the implant dentist to only place dental implants in areas where there is an increased success rate. If osseointegration does not take place, the dental implants can be removed, and implant surgery can be tried again following complete healing of the area.

-Dental Infection (peri-implantitis) –  While rare, this is the most common complication of dental implant surgery. The surrounding bone and gums can get infected during or after the placement of the dental implants. This can happen due to poor surgical technique, a contaminated implant, poor healing ability (diabetic, smoker, osteoporosis medications). The most likely time for this to occur would be during the surgical placement of the dental implant into the bone. Implant infection is a condition referred to as peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is characterized by inflammation or swelling of the tissues surrounding the dental implant. Peri-implantitis can also show up as a secondary infection later on. It is a form of periodontal disease that can lead to inflammation, bone loss and implant failure if not treated quickly and properly. Although dental implant infections are usually caused by the presence of bacteria during or immediately after the oral surgery for the placement of the dental implants, an implant infection can occur months or even years after the dental implants are placed.

-Damage To Surrounding Tissues - Dental implant complications related with surgical errors affecting adjacent teeth, nerves or sinus are directly connected to the experience and skills of the implant dentist. An implant dentist with the proper skill and experience is able to identify potential problems by examining x-rays or CT scan (computer tomography), design the proper treatment plan (including ideal location and angle), and execute it properly without complications. Even with the most experienced implant dentist there is always a possibility of dental implant complications. It is important to note that with experience comes an understanding of what can happen. This is important because an experienced implant dentist will be able to easily handle any complications that might come up either at time of surgery or afterwards.

What About The Dental Restorations?

Following placement of your dental implants and proper healing your dentist will place a dental restoration on top of them. These restorations can include dental crowns, dental bridges, and dentures. These restorations will eventually wear down from the constant mechanical forces placed on them through biting and chewing. Fortunately, these dental restorations will last years before needing replacement.

Dental Implants Longevity Conclusion

It is important to note dental implants can be a complex procedure requiring the need for an experienced implant dentist.In order to ensure the best possible outcomes, you should always work with a highly skilled and experienced implant dentist who makes dental implants a primary focus of their practice. With regular dental care maintenance, your dental implants could and should last a lifetime.