One thing that sets dental implants apart from other tooth replacement options like dentures is their ability to potentially last a lifetime. And we’re not exaggerating here: studies that are 20 or 30 years long show no point at which dental implants begin to fail at a higher rate. Some people have actually had dental implants for 50 years, and at a certain point, people are more likely to pass away with their implants in place than they are to have the implants fail on them.
However, this isn’t the same as a guarantee for all implants: some factors can influence the survival rate and longevity. Here are some ways that you can improve the success of your dental implants.
Choose an Experienced Dentist
One of the biggest influences on the survival of your dental implants is your dentist. Experience is the biggest factor.
Dentists with little to no implant experience may have failure rates many times higher than experienced dentists.
When you are looking for a dentist to perform your dental implant procedure, it’s important to ask them about their prior implant experience. Ask them how often they place dental implants, and how many implants they’ve placed–this can make a difference for your success rate.
And don’t forget to look at before-and-after images and ask to speak to a previous patient. A good dentist should have multiple patients who are eager to talk about their experience getting dental implants or other restorations from a dentist.
Choose Quality Implants
When studies look at the success rates of different implant systems, the data is hard to decipher. Implant systems are rapidly changing and upgrading, while long-term data takes, well, a long time. But we do know that certain manufacturers of dental implants have better track records than others.
Ask your implant dentist about what dental implant they use and why. Sometimes their reasons are more important than the actual implant they use–certain implants might fit their implant technique better than others.
Take Proper Care at Home
Dental implants are very much like natural teeth. They look like natural teeth and function like natural teeth. They are also affected by some of the same problems that affect natural teeth. They can’t get cavities, but they are affected by gum disease.
To protect your dental implants from gum disease, you have to clean them like natural teeth by brushing and flossing. Your dentist can help you learn how to properly floss around your implants and whether tools like interdental brushes or water flossers might help you get better results.
Make Your Regular Checkups
Like natural teeth, dental implants benefit from regular dental hygiene checkups. Once you get past the initial follow-up period, you only have to follow a normal checkup and cleaning schedule.
Every six months is good for most people, but, as with natural teeth, some people might need more regular checkups.
Replace and Repair Restorations
The dental implant itself is the replacement tooth root. This is the part of your replacement tooth that is likely to last a lifetime. The visible part of the tooth replacement is called the restoration, and while they can last 30 years or more, they might not last longer than regular crowns or bridges (10 -20 years is normal), and they may need adjustments or repair as frequently as every ten years or so.
Not getting repairs or adjustments to the restorations can put the implant itself at risk. Take care of the restoration and it will take care of the implant.
Long-Lasting Implants in Oceanside
Are you considering dental implants in southern California? Deluxe Dental is a dental implant provider that draws patients from around the region to our practice in Oceanside. Please call (760) 757-5037 today for an appointment with an implant dentist.