The days when patients with lost teeth had to go with bridges or dentures as the only options are far gone. Today they can totally consider dental implants for their problems. A dental implant is a procedure that uses metal posts to substitute tooth roots and replaces damaged or lost teeth with false teeth that are similar-looking with the same functions as the real ones. Implant surgery can play as an ideal alternative to dentures or dental bridges that fail to fit tightly and also is a good option when dentures and bridges are not possible due to the lack of natural tooth roots. Wow! That sounds like an ideal choice right? Now several questions may be popping up in your head about their durability: how long does a dental implant last? Is it permanent or merely temporary? 

How long does a dental implant last

This article brought to you by Sydney Dental will give you the answers and some extra details about the chance of failure of this procedure as well as how such a failed case is corrected. Wait no more, just read on with us!

dental implant

1. Are dental implants a life-long thing?

A dental implant is made to be bound fixed to your mouth. In fact, they are the most durable tooth replacement these days. With thorough maintenance, these can last all your life! Nonetheless, the tooth restoration on top of the implant may need a substitute at some time as dental crowns and bridges typically last for about 15 years while dentures can be at least 7 years.

On the other hand, there’s a possibility that a dental implant fails after months or years of being in place. Several risk factors may be the culprit in this. 

2. How many types of dental implants are there?

Two most common types of implants are endosteal and subperiosteal implants. What differentiates them is how and where they are bound to the jawbone.

2.1. Implants in the jawbone

Also known as the endosteal implant and is the most frequently conducted kind of dental implant. Its shape resembles a small screw, cylinder, or blade. The implant is penetrated into the jawbone to hold one or more restoration teeth, also called artificial teeth. If you already have dentures or dental bridges, the dentist will likely recommend this within-the-jawbone procedure.

2.2. Implants on or above the jawbone

Also known as subperiosteal dental implants, it is a metal post placed underneath the gum and goes through your gum to hold it up.

This kind of implants may be a good choice for you if you can no longer use regular dentures, you don’t have sufficient jawbone to support an endosteal dental implant, or when you don’t want to undergo a bone graft to restore your jawbone loss for proper support for the implant.

How long does a dental implant last
How long does a dental implant last

2.3. Mini dental implants?

These are dental implants of smaller size (with a diameter of less than 3 millimeters)  than most implants, like that of a toothpick or a pencil lead. This treatment may be recommended to you if the dentist thinks you need to have your lower denture stabilized. A mini dental implant is generally less surgically invasive than other types of dental implants.

A mini dental implant procedure may be a good choice for you if you’re suffering from significant bone loss or have very little jawbone. It is also an option if you have loose dentures that need stabilizing so they won’t shift with eating or communicating.

These little friends are made to be permanent, with the similar age to that of other types of dental implants according to recent scientific studies.

3. What may be a reason for an implant failure?

In most cases, dental implants are lifelong. However, some users may experience an implant failure at some point. This may result from some factors that disrupt the osseointegration (the process of the implant getting fused with the jawbone) or healing time. These causes are as follows:

3.1. Poor maintenance

Proper hygiene remains a must for your dental implants just like for your natural teeth. Lacking proper care, the food particles can start to build up and result in periodontal conditions, damaging your gums and the jawbone.

A peri-implant disease happens when plaque accumulation adversely affects the implant site. Such a disease can be treated in early stages. Otherwise, the peri-implant disease may progress into peri-implantitis, a condition that causes a dental implant failure.

In light of that, it is crucial that you practice proper oral hygiene to prevent the aforementioned conditions as well as help your dental work — and remaining natural teeth — last longer by:

  • Committing to thorough oral hygiene. Try to keep your dental implants, false teeth, and gum tissue clean just like your original teeth by bruising, flossing, and rinsing on a daily basis;
  • Paying regular visits to the dentist. Have checkups with the dental provider to make sure your implants are functioning properly and healthy. Also receive in-clinic cleanings as advised by the dentist;
  • Avoiding poor dental habits. Avoid chewing on hard foods, like ice or hard candy because these can cause breakage to your restoration like crows or even your original teeth. Also refrain from tobacco and products containing caffeine to prevent staining of teeth. If you have bruxism, meaning you grind or clench teeth, seek medical attention.

3.2. A lack of bone

Endosteal implants are supposed to be held securely in the jawbone. Therefore, if there is a lack of jawbone to do this, a dental implant failure is a possibility.

Typically a comprehensive examination of your jawbone is conducted prior to a dental implant surgery. Specifically, X-rays and 3D modeling are performed to evaluate the patient’s bone quality of the intended dental implant site.

If inadequate jawbone is detected after the examination, the dental provider may recommend the patient get an extra procedure ahead of the implants. These may include a bone graft or a sinus lift. 

Gradual bone loss can also weaken your dental implants. What may cause a jawbone loss are: 

  • Peri-implant problems;
  • Osteoporosis, a condition that causes the bone to be fragile and easily cracked;
  • Other medical complaints are detrimental to the bone.

Smoking

It’s scientifically-backed that smokers have a lower success rate for dental implants. The reason why smoking can result in an implant failure is it can obstruct the blood flow to the surgical site, adversely affecting osseointegration and healing. Smoking is also the cause of periodontal conditions.

Bruxism

Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding or clenching. Bruxism or trauma to the mouth may cause fractures in the implant, screw, or the artificial tooth on top. This is because the repeating clenching movements or sudden trauma can hinder the osseointegration process.

Certain diseases

Some medical conditions may contribute to an implant failure. These are:

  • Diabetes;
  • Osteoporosis;
  • A compromised immune system;
  • Bleeding disorders;
  • Cardiovascular disease like hypertension and atherosclerosis;
  • Congestive heart failure.

An older age

Senior citizens are at a higher risk of an implant failure for the fact that they tend to be afflicted with more underlying medical or bone diseases. Plus, healing may take longer for those in their later years.

Treatments or medications

Certain treatments or medications may impact the life of a dental implant. These are the following:

  • Immunosuppressives;
  • Blood-thinners;
  • Radiotherapy.

Underqualified dental provider

It is of paramount priority that you receive your dental implant surgery at a reputable clinic staffed with well-trained, expert dental providers for your own safety and the implant success. If done by underqualified dentist, the following may cause an implant failure:

  • Ill-fitting implants;
  • Misplaced implants;
  • Tissue damage during the implant procedure;
  • Premature attachment of the restoration tooth before the dental implant is fully healed.
How long does a dental implant last
How long does a dental implant last

4. What happens if there’s an implant failure?

Seek medical attention immediately at your dentist’s if you develop any symptoms indicative of an implant failure. The signs for you to be on the lookout for are:

  • A moving implant;
  • Pain with chewing or biting;
  • Peri-implantitis signs, including swelling, redness, bleeding, receding gums, and a pus around the surgical area.

5. Treatment for an unsuccessful dental implant

The failed implant can be taken off with the help of numbing medication. In some cases, the implant can be substituted. 

If there is missing bone around the implant area, it may require a bone grafting procedure for the bone tissue to be regenerated first before the new implant can be placed. This process may make you wait a couple of months before the implant replacement.

If you don’t want a replacement or are not qualified for one, there are alternatives like bridges or dentures for you to choose from.

Peri-implantitis can be treated without the need of an implant removal if there is no substantial missing bone. The treatment for that problem includes cleaning and disinfecting the implant itself and the nearby area and taking antibiotics.

6. A note from Sydney Dental – your trusted provider

Dental implants are made to be a permanent fix for your lost teeth. This is thanks to the fact that the implants are to be fused with your jawbone through a process called osseointegration. However, these implants may fail due to certain factors from time to time. A failed dental implant can be replaced or fixed with other methods if applicable. Always see your dental care provider for any problems you may encounter with your dental implants.

Hopefully after this one read with Sydney Dental you’ve had a good idea of how long dental implants last and the possibility of a failed implant and how to fix it. Now you may be able to decide whether this procedure is something you would like to receive. If you are still unsure of which treatment to go with for a new unforgettably stunning smile in your particular case, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC looking forward to your visit. You may also call us at (028) 3504 9440 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!

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