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Published on: 28 Nov 2016 by karencole
Making the decision to invest in dental implants can require a lot of thought and research, especially if you aren’t exactly convinced that they are worth the price. Although the cost of implants is slowly coming down, they still remain slightly higher-priced alternative to other types of treatment. But, it’s all worth it. Why is that, you ask? How long do dental implants last? In reality…they can last for the rest of your life.
First: What Exactly Are Implants?
An implant is a root-shaped titanium “rod” or “screw” that supports a new artificial tooth. Essentially, it serves as a replacement for a missing tooth root. They have been used for decades, but in recent years implant technology has expanded by leaps and bounds when it comes to improving the quality of patient care.
An Investment Worth Making
The cost-effectiveness of dental implants far exceeds any other form of dental therapy. Generally speaking, a well-cared for dental implant will last for the entire life of the patient. They have the highest success rate of any restorative procedure in modern dentistry…as high as 98%. No other restoration, whether it’s a traditional crown, bridge, or partial denture can offer the same results.
Why do They Last so Long?
What makes implants so successful is their ability to fit and function inside the body as if they were naturally occurring teeth. Made from biocompatible materials, each artificial root is anchored directly into the jaw, the same as the “real” ones. Once placed, new bone growth is stimulated by the titanium surface of the prosthetic structure.
After about six months, full “osseointegration” has occurred and the implant is firmly locked into place. It is at this point that the implant is even considered to be far stronger than healthy, natural teeth.
Implants are so reliable that they can support everything from a single crown to bridges, or even full mouth dentures. No matter how many teeth are missing, dental implants offer the additional stability and reliability that you depend on when it comes to feeling confident about how your smile looks and feels.
Preventing Premature Loss of Your Implant
Just like real teeth, dental implants need to be carefully cleaned and maintained. Without adequate oral hygiene and preventive cleanings, infections can occur around the artificial tooth. Similar to gum disease (periodontitis,) oral plaque and inflammation may lead to a condition called peri-implantitis. This can trigger the loss of soft and hard tissue support, resulting in the mobility and failure of the implant. Fortunately, this is very rare as most implant patients are committed to caring for their new investment.
Scheduling routine checkups with your dentist can help you to prevent implant failure and ensure that your new smile lasts for a lifetime. It could be the best decision you’ve ever made for your oral health. What other type of tooth replacement can last this long? Quite honestly, none of them.