There’s lots of advice to be found online about dental implants. Almost everywhere you look these days, someone is recommending either that you get implants, or that you don’t get implants. Many of these recommendations don’t make certain you’re adequately informed about your options and alternatives, including how long dental implants last and the reason for their lifespan. Our dental clinic in Surrey BC is committed to ensuring you have accurate information that helps you make the right choices for your oral health.
Average Lifespan of Dental Implants
Generally speaking, dental implants are meant to be permanent fixtures in your mouth. That’s because the implant fuses with the jawbone and surrounding bone tissue through osseointegration, giving the implant the solid footing it needs to support an artificial tooth.
This 2017 study published by the International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry shows an implant success rate of 90% to 95% over ten years. However, for the remaining 5% to 10% of patients, it’s possible for their implants to fail in the months or years following placement.
Why Implants Need Replacement
Often, when a tooth implant needs the attention of one of our Surrey dentists, it’s not the implant itself but the crown attached to it that needs replacement. Crowns typically last 15 to 20 years, but they get damaged more easily if they are not protected by the gum and bone. Other reasons why implants might need replacement include:
1.Poor oral hygiene and maintenance
Taking care of implants is as important as it is for natural teeth, or it can lead to a type of gum disease. Whether you have a single implant, mini-implants, or all-on-4 implants, our Surrey team recommends avoiding plaque buildup around them. We call the accumulation of plaque around an implant “peri-implant disease,” which is reversible if caught at an early stage. If it’s not treated quickly, however, the condition can cause peri-implantitis to develop, which can cause implant failure. Maintain regular twice-daily brushing and flossing, and get a deep teeth cleaning every couple of years to keep plaque at bay.
If you get the endosteal type of dental implants, it’s essential for them to remain anchored firmly in your jawbone. Patients can experience bone loss over time because of medical conditions like osteoporosis or peri-implantitis, or as a result of not replacing other missing teeth. This can result in a reduced amount of jawbone needed to serve as an anchor for the implant, which could destabilize your artificial teeth.
Tobacco use is particularly problematic for people with dental implants. The qualified practitioners at our dental clinic in Surrey BC will tell you to stop smoking a couple of weeks before you get implant placement, regardless of the type of implants you choose.
We will also advise you not to continue smoking or to hold off for at least a few months after getting your implants. However, if you start smoking again, you risk affecting the integration of the implant with your jawbone, which can interfere with the healing process.
Smoking also causes gum disease, which can result in the early failure of your implant.
Bruxism or night-time teeth grinding can affect your life negatively in many ways. It can cause any of the teeth in your mouth to fracture, including a crown covering a dental implant. Even if the crown is unaffected, the grinding motion can cause tiny movements of the implant, which could stop it from integrating properly and cause loosening of the post in your jawbone.
Aside from osteoporosis, other medical conditions can interfere with your mouth’s ability to heal. These include diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disorders like high blood pressure or heart disease, and other conditions that impact the immune system’s efficiency. Any of these can prevent dental implants from integrating successfully with your jawbone, causing them to fail earlier than they should.
Beating the Odds
None of this means you shouldn’t consider getting dental implants, however. It’s important to weigh all your options before you decide, and for that reason, you need to consult with the experienced team at our dental clinic in Surrey BC.
Be open about your medical conditions, any medications you’re taking, your oral hygiene habits, and whether you smoke or not, so our dentists can determine the best way to help restore damaged or missing teeth.
It’s vitally important not to wait too long to get the tooth restoration procedures you need because this can cause your other teeth to begin moving and loosen.
For more information or to find out if you’re a candidate for all-on-4, all-on-6, or any other type of implants, please click here to schedule a free consultation with our friendly and compassionate team today.