There are several factors to consider when deciding on a dental implant. The most important question is, ‘How long do dental implants last? Will I have to get a new one every couple of years?’ Dr. Sudhakar Reddy, the implantologist at Dr. Sudhakar Reddy’s Dental Implant Studio in Bengaluru, India, answers this critical question so that you can make an informed decision when considering getting a dental implant.
“Dental implants are prosthetic teeth that are designed to mimic real teeth, both in structure and function and dental implants, like real teeth, tend to last a long time,” explains Dr. Sudhakar Reddy. Natural teeth have a root that extends into the jaw bone and a crown that is visible. Similarly, a dental implant has a titanium root that fuses into the jawbone through the osseointegration process and a crown that looks like natural teeth. Because the dental implant is fused to the jawbone, it can last indefinitely without becoming damaged or failing.
A dental implant can last for 20-25 years if properly cared for. However, the life of your dental implant can vary depending on how well it is cared for and maintained. “Many people believe that because dental implants are artificial teeth, they require less cleaning and maintenance than natural teeth. This is not correct,” Dr. Sudhakar Reddy says. He likens getting a dental implant to purchasing a new car. “A new car will run more smoothly and last longer if it is serviced on a regular basis.” Similarly, when properly maintained, a dental implant will last as long as it is intended originally,” says Dr. Sudhakar Reddy.
Though dental implants are generally highly successful, there are cases where they fail after a few years. There are many reasons for the failure of dental implants. These include:
1. Poor oral hygiene leading to plaque formation resulting in gum diseases and damaged jaw bones.
2. Bone loss due to osteoporosis or other medical conditions
3. Location of the dental implant in the mouth
4. Teeth grinding, biting into hard objects or inedible stuff, etc that might physically damage the implant
5. Lifestyle habits like smoking and alcohol consumption
According to Dr. Sudhakar Reddy, there are specific things that a patient can do to ensure that their dental implants last as long as possible. First and foremost, select an implantologist with extensive experience placing dental implants. This ensures that there is a minimal error, lowering the risk of implant failure. Maintain good oral hygiene after receiving a dental implant by brushing and flossing on a regular basis. Finally, see an orthodontist at least once a year for regular check-ups and deep cleanings to ensure your oral hygiene is up to par.