Dental implants involve a significant investment on the patient’s part, but in return, the patient can benefit from a tooth replacement that can last for decades with proper care.
Certain aspects of a patient’s oral health can compromise dental implants in the long-term, so it’s important to know what can threaten the stability of your implants in order to reduce your risk of implant failure.
The first key to success in dental implants is ensuring that the patient has enough bone to support the implant. During the treatment planning process, the oral surgeon will evaluate the patient thoroughly to determine if there is sufficient bone at the implant site.
The key to the longevity of dental implants is the bone’s ability to form a bond with the titanium. However, if there is not enough bone material present, the implant can eventually fail.
The key to the longevity of dental implants is the bone’s ability to form a bond with the titanium.
This is why it’s recommended that patients purse dental implants as soon as possible after extraction or tooth loss. After the tooth’s roots are removed, there is no structure to anchor the jawbone in place and it wears away. If a person waits for a number of years to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant and has already experienced extensive bone loss at the site, that patient may need to have a bone graft prior to implant placement.
Even when a patient does have enough bone to support osseointegration, there are post-operative factors that can influce a dental implant’s lifespan. For example, if a patient has a history of gum disease, it is essential to take steps to prevent a relapse. Patients should follow closely with a dentist or periodontist to catch any signs of periodontal disease in the earliest stages, before it progresses and attacks the underlying bone.
Good oral hygiene habits also are important for dental implant patients. Brushing and flossing as recommended by your dentist will help to minimize the oral bacteria that can attack the bone and weaken the bond with the implant.
Dental implants can last for a lifetime in many cases, but patients must be suitable initially for implant placement and do their part to maintain their oral health after they get the implants. Ask our oral surgeons what you can do to maximize the lifespan of your dental implants.