How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Getting a dental implant can be one of the best things that you can do for yourself. They can not only improve the appearance of your smile by restoring the missing tooth; it can also greatly improve your quality of life. After premature tooth loss, patients often find themselves struggling with things that used to be considered easy to them, such as eating, chewing, and even talking clearly.
Fortunately, dental implants are a reliable and long-lasting restoration option and can help address these many concerns that patients who come to see us here at Thomas P. Rafferty, DDS may have.
What is a Dental Implant and What Are Its Parts?
A dental implant is a type of dental restoration that is surgically placed directly into your jaw. It is made of three main components that comprise the entire implant. The first part is the titanium screw, which is the piece that is placed into the jaw. We use titanium because the body does not reject this metal, and instead, your bone builds up around it to help reinforce it. This is a process known as osseointegration.
The next part of the implant is called the abutment. This is a connector piece, which attaches directly to the titanium component. It also attaches to the third and final part, which is called the crown or the restoration. This is the part of the implant that resembles a tooth.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Dental Implant?
Many people are good candidates for dental implants, but admittedly not everyone will be one right away. To be considered a good candidate, you must be in good oral and general health. That means that you cannot have active tooth decay or gum disease, and if you have any systemic illness or disorders, they need to be under control.
Dental implants are not recommended for pregnant patients, and a patient must be old enough that their jaw size is stable. A good candidate also has enough bone mass in their jaw to sustain the implant. Patients who smoke are not good candidates for dental implants.
Please note that if you are not a good candidate for dental implants today, that does not mean you will not be one in the future. For instance, if a patient stops smoking, that can improve their chances of getting a dental implant. Patients who do not have enough bone mass in their jaw can get a bone graft to help support the implant. If you have active tooth decay or gum disease, you will want to address it before you get your implant.
How Long Can I Expect My Dental Implant to Last with Proper Care?
Unlike bridges or partial dentures, dental implants are considered a permanent restoration option. If you take good care of your implant, as well as maintain your oral hygiene, you can easily expect your dental implant to last you the rest of your life.
Dental implants have a remarkably high success rate, at approximately 98 percent. This helps make them a superior restoration choice for many of our patients. To learn more about dental implants, or to set up an appointment with us here at Thomas P. Rafferty, DDS, please give us a call at (978) 720-9009 today.