How long do implants last?
Thinking about getting dental implants? Do you already have dental implants? One question you must be wondering about is how long do dental implants last and whether the longevity of implants is worth the cost. Rather than asking how long do implants last, you should ask yourself how can I hold onto my implants for the rest of my life? What can I do to make your investment a long-lasting one?
Since implants are typically made of titanium alloy and the crown is typically made of ceramic, they do not decay like your natural teeth would. This means that you do not need to worry about the structure/material of the implant going bad. Because of this, theoretically, implants should last a lifetime. Despite this characteristic of implants, however, there is still a need to maintain good hygiene around the implant so that the gum tissue/bone around the implant stays healthy. Gum disease can still occur around the implant and develop into a more severe condition called peri-implantitis, which can cause extensive damage to your gum and bone and ultimately result in implant failure if left untreated.
How do I keep my implant clean?
The key component in having long-lasting implants is keeping the implants and the surrounding tissue clean, but how do you do this? Just like with natural teeth, your implant is subject to developing gum disease around it, so in order to protect your investment, good oral hygiene habits must be observed.
It is recommended that you brush the implant and the surrounding gum area with a soft brush to clean away any bacteria. In addition, it is also recommended that you use a floss or water pik to try to clean under the visible portion of the implant to try to loosen any bacteria that may be sticking on the surface. These basic practices are steps towards protecting your investments; however, based on your current condition, ask your doctor for the best method to keep your implant clean. It is always a good idea to have a professional take a look at your implant hygiene and aid in its maintenance for those hard-to-reach spots.
Implants have been successful and functional replacements for teeth, especially in recent years. Now, the question has shifted from “Do dental implants work?” to “How long do implants last?”. Theoretically, since implants do not decay, it should last a lifetime. But, this does not mean that implants cannot fail because of poor maintenance. So, the question you should ask is not “How long do implants last?”, but rather “How can I keep my implants for the rest of my life?”. As with your natural teeth, the key to keeping your implants is maintaining good oral hygiene.