Muirhead and Associates Dental Practice – Shipley – Directions

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Are dental implants permanent?


How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants are considered a long-term solution for replacing missing teeth. While they are not necessarily permanent, with proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last a lifetime for many patients.

The lifespan of dental implants can vary depending on various factors such as the patient’s oral hygiene habits, overall health, and bone density. In general, dental implants have a high success rate of around 95-98 %, with most lasting for 20 years or more.

It’s important to note that while the implant itself is made of durable materials such as titanium, the surrounding gum tissue and bone can still be susceptible to damage if proper oral hygiene is not maintained. This includes brushing and flossing regularly, as well as visiting your dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings.

What is the structure of a dental implant?

The structure of a dental implant consists of three main components: the implant itself, the abutment, and the crown.

1. The implant: This is a small titanium post that is surgically placed into the jawbone to act as a replacement root for the missing tooth. The implant fuses with the bone through a process called osseointegration, providing a stable foundation for the abutment and crown.

2. The abutment: This is a connector piece that attaches to the top of the implant and supports the crown. The abutment is usually made of metal or ceramic and is custom-made to fit the size and shape of the implant.

3. The crown: This is the visible part of the dental implant that resembles a natural tooth. The crown is typically made of porcelain or ceramic material that is colour-matched to blend seamlessly with the rest of your teeth.

How to help dental implants last longer

Dental implants are not necessarily considered permanent, as they can wear down over time like any other dental restoration. However, with proper care and maintenance, they can last for many years and even a lifetime. Here are some tips to help your dental implants last longer:

1. Practice good oral hygiene: Just like natural teeth, dental implants require regular brushing and flossing to prevent plaque build-up and gum disease. Be sure to brush twice a day, floss daily, and use an antiseptic mouthwash to keep your implant clean.

2. Avoid damaging habits: Avoid chewing on hard objects such as ice or pens, as this can damage the crown of your implant. Also, avoid using your teeth as tools to open packages or bottles.

3. Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential for maintaining the health of your dental implants. Your dentist can monitor the condition of your implants and identify any issues early on.

4. Quit smoking: Smoking can increase the risk of implant failure by affecting the healing process and weakening the bone structure. Quitting smoking can significantly improve the longevity of your dental implants.

5. Eat a healthy diet: A balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamins can help support the health of your gums and bone, which in turn can help your dental implants last longer. Avoiding sugary foods and drinks can also help prevent decay around the implant.

Overall, while dental implants are not necessarily permanent, they can be a long-lasting solution for replacing missing teeth with proper care and maintenance. 

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