Maintenance Key to Long-term Implant Success
- Posted on: May 30 2017
Dentists do the best they can to meet patients’ needs for oral function and optimal esthetics. For years, the only methods for achieving this after tooth loss were with bridges and dentures. While this was the best that was available, there were limitations that were difficult to overcome. The standard natural-tooth bridge, in which the artificial tooth is supported by two natural teeth that have been crowned, lasts an average of 6.1 years. That’s not very long in the grand scheme of things.
Recently, we have seen a growing interest in dental implants for minor and major oral rehabilitation after tooth loss. There is no question that implants can significantly improve outcome, with their 99% success rate. There is also no question that implants are better at stabilizing restorations such as crowns, bridges, or dentures than other methods. So, what we need to look at regarding value, is the lifespan of the average implant.
Factors that Affect Longevity of Implants
There are a few things that may affect the lifespan of an implant. The good news is that, when these factors can be mitigated, the patient may enjoy indefinite functionality.
Tooth grinding and clenching are more serious than many people imagine. This condition, also known as bruxism, may be especially harmful to the integration of a dental implant. The excessive force placed onto the supporting connective tissues can degrade the casing of bone around the metal post. Patients with bruxism may require corrective treatment, or a night guard to reduce the physical impact.
Just as inflammation of the gums may cause deterioration around natural teeth, these conditions around a restoration can adversely affect the implant. Only the inorganic implant materials are resistant to disease, natural oral tissues, such as bone, are not. If oral bacteria enter the surface tissues, the periodontal ligament is next in line for depreciation. Good hygiene habits do not become any less important after tooth replacement with dental implants. Brushing and flossing must be performed daily to maintain healthy gums and the life of the implant.
Schedule A Consultation
Do you want more information on dental implants? A friendly staff member in our Beverly Hills office can be reached at 310-276-4537.
Posted in: Dental Implants