When patients invest in dental implants, they often choose to do so for an enduring solution to their tooth loss. After all, who wants to make multiple repeat trips to the dentist to have appliances refitted or replaced?
One characteristic that makes dental implants more attractive than alternatives like bridges and dentures is longevity. The dental implant secures the bone material in the jaw, so it remains stable over time. Bridges and dentures, in comparison, have no root-like structures to stabilize the jaw, which will erode as time passes. Those appliances have higher failure rates and need to be replaced periodically as a result. [pullquote]One characteristic that makes dental implants more attractive than alternatives like bridges and dentures is longevity.[/pullquote]
In contrast, dental implants can last for decades if you treat them well. As part of the dental implant planning process, ask your oral surgeon what steps you can take to reduce the chances of complications with your dental implants.
Multiple factors can limit the longevity of a dental implant. First, the patient must have adequate bone to support the process in which the titanium implant fuses with the jaw. When extensive bone loss has occurred already, a bone graft may be needed to support the implant.
Of course, the same conditions that caused your initial tooth loss can threaten the durability of your dental implants. Gum disease is of particular concern, as it can compromise bone quality and lead to dental implant failure. Patients with untreated gum disease need to have that condition under control before proceeding with dental implants.
Ongoing dental hygiene is also essential to preserving dental implants. You should brush and floss regularly to limit the presence of oral bacteria that cause inflammation that may threaten the dental implant. Smoking has been linked to inflammation in the gums as well, so dental implant patients are encouraged to give up that habit, too.
Dental implants offer a long-term solution for tooth loss, one that is likely to last longer than a bridge or denture alone. Discuss your dental implant treatment options with our oral surgery team to learn more about this aspect of the devices.