Do Dental Implants Last Forever?
Advances in dental science have led to dental implants becoming the best treatment option for patients who have lost one or more teeth. Whether teeth have been lost to accident, gum disease, or decay, fixed bridges or removable dentures are no longer the only (or best) solutions to restore your smile. When surgically placed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS), dental implants can last a lifetime if taken care of properly. In fact, dental implant treatment is the tooth replacement option with the highest documented success rates.
Clinical studies over the past 40 to 50 years indicate that dental implant treatment has a success rate well over 95%. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), the success rate of dental implants has been reported in scientific literature as 98 percent!
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon has the specialized training and knowledge of the bone, teeth, gum and other tissues of the mouth, jaws and face to assure patients of the best possible results. There are a few factors that are taken into consideration when considering dental implants. These factors all play a role in how long your dental implants will last.
The quality and quantity of available bone is important. Sufficient bone mass is critical for implant surgery success. Over time, the bone can wear down, becoming too thin or too short. However, implant dentists have become proficient at restoring or regenerating bone in tooth sockets that would not be able to support implant placements without augmentation.
Periodontal (or gum) disease affects the gums and structures (including bone) that support you teeth. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Since adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease. Dental implants are intimately connected with the gum tissues and underlying bone in the mouth. While diseased gums are not ideal, every patient’s situation is different. So it is recommended that you schedule a consultation to determine if implants can help. It is important to maintain regular dental visits to maintain your healthy gums.
Good Oral Hygiene
Once the implant is placed it is essentially the same as your regular teeth – except that it will not get cavities. However, just because implants are not your “real” teeth, doesn’t mean you don’t have to take care of them. Caring for dental implants is just like caring for your natural teeth. They will need regular oral care – brushing, flossing, regular dental cleanings and check-ups.
Bone structure, healthy gums, and good oral hygiene all play a crucial role in the length of time your dental implants will last. Whether you have full dental implants, partial implants, or a single tooth implant. The bottom line is this – with with proper care and hygiene, your dental implant should provide a lifetime of full smiles.
For more information about dental implant surgery and how oral and maxillofacial surgeons are uniquely qualified to provide them, visit www.MyOMs.org or give us a call!