What Can Affect the Lifespan of a Dental Implant? | Dental Implants Queens NY

If you take good care of your dental implants, you can expect them to last for more than ten years, if not a lifetime. In some cases, however, this may not work out as planned since there are factors that can affect an implant’s longevity. To make sure that your dental implant lasts as long as possible, let’s look at how to combat them.

How can the lifespan of a dental implant be affected?

The purpose of a dental implant is to provide the foundation for an artificial tooth (a dental crown). A porcelain crown is attached to the implant post with an abutment, which connects the crown to the post.

When a tooth is lost due to an injury or gum disease, dental implants can help restore both its structure and function. In addition to providing unparalleled functionality, feel and aesthetics, they mimic natural teeth more closely than other tooth replacement options, including bridges and dentures. The difference between a dental implant and a natural tooth is so subtle that it’s hard to tell the two apart.

Even though dental implants are strong, their longevity can be curtailed if they are not properly maintained. Dental implants can last a long time depending on the following factors:

Oral health

The lifespan of dental implants is correlated with oral health. Dental implants are titanium fixtures that function as tooth roots in the jawbone. Implants require healthy gums and bone for support, just like natural teeth. In order to maintain healthy gums and bone, it is essential to keep the mouth clean to avoid bacteria forming plaque that leads to tooth decay and gum disease.

When left untreated, tooth decay and gum disease can lead to tooth loss.

Gum disease can affect dental implants similarly to natural teeth. It is possible for gum disease to progress to periodontal disease, which can result in bone loss around the implant and lead to its failure.

The good news is that gum disease can be eliminated in its early stages and oral hygiene can be improved so that your implant will last a long time. You can keep your gums healthy by brushing and flossing twice a day. An electric toothbrush makes it easier to clean hard-to-reach areas in your mouth, so it is considered to be better than a regular toothbrush. Flossing, however, is one of the best ways to remove bacteria from places that a toothbrush cannot reach, such as between the teeth and below the gum line.

Lifestyle choices

The lifestyle choices you make can also affect how long implants last. Cigarette smoking is one of the worst. Smoking can hinder the healing process after receiving a dental implant because nicotine reduces blood flow, which is vital for transporting nutrients to heal tissues and fight infection. Consequently, dental implants may fail to integrate with the jawbone, causing them to fail before they can even become stable.

As a result, if you continue to smoke after your dental implant has integrated with your jawbone, it is likely to negatively impact the implant’s longevity. The reason for this is that smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop gum disease. For these reasons, many dentists refuse to place dental implants in smokers. However, if you smoke and already have a dental implant, it might be worth giving up if you want to extend its life.

Damage or injury

While dental implants are durable, their crowns are not indestructible. As with natural teeth and other dental restorations, crowns can become chipped, cracked, or damaged by facial injuries or by biting hard foods like ice or sweets. If only your dental implant’s crown is damaged, it may be possible to repair it. Alternatively, the entire crown may need to be replaced, which is less expensive and inconvenient than replacing the entire implant.

However, if the titanium root becomes damaged or loose, the entire implant will need to be replaced. The jawbone may need to heal before another dental implant can be placed if it has been damaged.

Medical Conditions

There are some medical conditions that may affect the lifespan of dental implants. Dental implants can last less than expected if you have a weakened immune system, blood clotting disorders, or diabetes.

Any condition that compromises the body’s ability to heal and makes it more susceptible to infection can lead to implant failure. For this reason, having a condition such as diabetes does not mean you cannot have dental implants, but it must be well controlled to ensure long-term success.

Another problem with dental implants is bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching). An implant can be damaged by excessive forces placed on the teeth and teeth restorations by this condition. You may be able to have dental implants placed, but you may need to consider wearing a nightguard to keep the teeth from contacting one another at night.

Lifespan of dental implants—The bottom line

If you’d like to find out more about how you can extend the life of your dental implants, contact our team of dental implant specialists. While we can’t guarantee the lifespan of an implant, we take its care very seriously. For more information about dental implants or to schedule an appointment, call our dental implant office today.

Queens Center for Implant and Sedation Dentistry
Phone: 718-767-9224
14-19 150th Street 1A
Whitestone, NY 11357