Dental implants are growing in popularity through the United States, but many people who have them wonder how permanent they really are. While implants are one of the best long-term dental solutions available on the market today, it’s hard to say if they are really permanent. While the materials used in implants have been extensively tested, the technology simply hasn’t existed long enough to know whether or not they can truly last a lifetime. In addition, there are a number of factors that can weaken the materials in dental implants, causing them to break down sooner than expected.
One of the most important factors in determining how long dental implants will last is the care and hygiene used by the patient. Failure to regularly brush and floss the implants (just as you would with your natural teeth) can lead to a higher number of diseases and infections. This can increase the likelihood of rejection of the implants and lead to degradation of the materials used in the implants.
Similarly, patients with pre-existing medical conditions that leave them more prone to infections and other dental issues will experience a higher rate of failure with their implants. In some cases, implants may not be recommended for some patients with these conditions.
Finally, there is some research that suggest that mouth position can determine the lifespan of an implant. Teeth used primarily for chewing tend to experience more wear than those in the front.
It’s important to note that with proper care, dental implants are expected to last the lifetime of the patient. Compared to a crown that will only last ten to fifteen years, or dentures that may need to be replaced on a similar schedule, this tends to represent fairly good value for the money invested. Nonetheless, it’s crucial for patients to talk with their oral surgeon about their unique circumstances in order to determine how long their implants could last.