Dental implants are currently the go-to solution for tooth replacement. These implants can be bridges or dentures, which come with different longevity. People are concerned about the life expectancy of an implant compared to other tooth restoration options. Longevity is what people seek to know if it’s worth in gold. However, the longevity of an implant depends on many factors, such as the structure, type, and when and where the replacement is necessary.
Components of Dental Implants
The replacement has three main parts which are essential for the job:
First, most people associate dental implants with the crown, which looks like a natural tooth.
These prosthetics consist of three different and equally important parts:
- Implant post — the dentist attaches a small, screw-shaped to the jawbone
- Abutment — this short screw holds the implant post to the false tooth
- Prosthesis — is either a crown, denture, or bridge screwed to the top of the abutment
The structure is also part of what determines how long an implant can last. For example, dental implant posts are of different sizes, shapes, and materials. As a result, the durability of some is better than others. If you are confused, the dentist can help you make a better choice according to your needs and budget.
The Average Lifespan of Dental Implants
Dental implants have three major components, which are placed under observation to know the longevity of the implant restoration. Generally, the implant post has a longer life expectancy since it is attached and hidden in the bone, protecting it from easy damage. The dental post can last for up to 25 years or more. Some sources say the implant can be permanent.
The abutment and prosthesis face damage from many conditions and will eventually be replaced. However, both components may take 10 to 15 years before needing replacement due to the action of chewing and biting, leading to wear and tear on the surface.
Lastly, the prosthesis type will also affect longevity. For instance, an implant in the front tooth will last longer than in the molars. This is because the front part does less chewing, unlike the back teeth causing the denture to wear off faster. However, implant-supported bridges have longer life expectancy than traditional bridges or dentures.
Why Your Implants May Decline Over Time
Dental implants suffer from two major factors – peri-implantitis and failed osseointegration. Peri-implantitis is a gum disease that infects the gum causing damage to the bone around the tooth. Failed osseointegration is the growth of bone around the implant, increasing the implant’s rigidness. The factor is caused by smoking or bone grafting often used by the dentist or surgical technique.
In addition, other factors still contribute to an implant’s longevity, such as lifestyle and oral health. Other factors like pre-existing medical conditions, disease, and misuse can affect longevity. For example, implant users who smoke, have diabetes, or suffer other medical conditions like cancer, are likely to have a shorter implant life expectancy. The patient must also have an adequate jawbone to hold the implant, making it unsuitable for people with bone loss and lost teeth. Those with few jaw bones undergo bone regeneration before the surgery.
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