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How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

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Dental implants are a great option for people who require cosmetic dental work like tooth repair or replacements. They are often a long-term option for many people, as long as they are in good health and practice good oral hygiene.

It’s crucial to understand how to care for your dental implants before considering contacting your dentist for a consultation. Making sure you’re ready for aftercare and prepared to do what you need to make the implants last can set you up for success after your procedure so you can smile bright for life.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a method of replacing missing or damaged teeth. They are a seamless way to fit an artificial tooth into your existing smile not only for cosmetic reasons but also for functional reasons as well. 

Dental implants consist of an artificial root made of titanium that gets implanted directly into the jaw. This replaces the existing root of the damaged or missing tooth. The implant protrudes slightly from the gum, on top of which sits an abutment. This abutment then holds the artificial tooth.

When it comes to a natural feel, dental implants are usually a great option. Dental implants are designed to look similar to your natural teeth, often made from white ceramic or porcelain. 

Dental Implant Procedure

The procedure for getting dental implants begins with your dentist talking detailed x-rays and measurements of your head and jaw. After determining dental implants are the right option, your dentist can move forward with surgery. 

Dental implants typically take multiple appointments to complete. The first appointment is where the implant itself is placed into the jawbone beneath the gums. After this, the gum will heal while the titanium implant fuses with the jawbone, creating a solid base for the implant.

After healing, your dentist attaches the abutment to the top of the implant. An artificial tooth is then placed on top of the abutment. It may take a few attempts to get the implant exactly right to fit into your smile and bite, but that effort is worth it in the long run.

A smiling man flossing his top front teeth.

Taking Care of Dental Implants

It’s crucial to care for your dental implants to ensure they last a long time. Dental implants can last years, but if you don’t take care of them they aren’t as effective and can lead to problems down the road. 

Cleaning

It’s crucial to practice good oral hygiene with dental implants. Your oral hygiene practice usually begins with brushing your teeth. You should brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Good dental hygiene prevents plaque and tartar buildup, which is crucial to maintaining your oral health.

Another essential part of your oral health is flossing. Flossing involves using a special thread to clean the areas between your teeth. Flossing is crucial because it helps prevent complications from gum disease, which can negatively impact your implants. 

Regular Checkups

Regular visits to the dentist are another important part of your care regarding implants. During your visits, your dentist can check on your implant health and make sure it’s functioning properly. 

The Canadian Dental Association recommends dental visits twice a year for all individuals. These visits may be more frequent when you first get your implants, but can go back to twice a year once you’ve established a healthy oral care routine and your dentist has monitored your implant health accordingly.

Are Dental Implants Right for Me?

As long as you’re in good health, dental implants should be a good option for you when it comes to tooth replacement. 

Since dental implants are placed directly into your jaw, people with less available bone may not be good candidates for dental implant procedures. However, bone grafting could be an option if your dentist recommends it.

Other Options for You

There are a few common options for revitalizing your smile beyond dental implants. These may include: 

Your dentist can work with you to find the right method to suit your needs. Some methods are more permanent than others, with implants generally considered the most long-lasting of them all.

Find Your Smile Today

We’re here to help you and your family access the comprehensive and personalized dental care you need to fall in love with your smile. Get in touch with us to learn about your options for your smile revitalization, including dental implants. 

Written by Dr. Brandon Scott

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Could your smile use a bit of TLC? Learn more about our teeth whitening services by visiting our Teeth Whitening page.

Veneers are a great way to freshen up your smile by hiding tooth imperfections. Learn more on our Veneers page.

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