The lifespan of dental implants is intended to be long. Just like real teeth, they do not expire or wear out. They can stand the test of time and they can endure the normal challenges of your daily routine. However, just like real teeth, your implants can meet an untimely end if they are not treated with care each day.
Artificial teeth must be cleaned thoroughly each day in order to prevent plaque bacteria from infecting the microscopic spaces between the implant post and the gums or bone. The same periodontal disease that can affect a natural tooth can also impact the stability of a dental implant. The Inflammation and bone loss that are caused by gum disease can weaken the support system around the implant post.
Pockets, gaps, and defects around the implant post can be difficult to correct, and will often result in the loss of the implant. Fortunately, most incidences of gum disease can be prevented or controlled with routine professional dental care and attentive oral hygiene at home.
Your implants are also vulnerable to stress. Extreme biting forces, nighttime clenching, or an accidental injury to the mouth can destroy the bond between the implant and the bone. Without this strong connection, your replacement tooth could be knocked out or loosened.
The factors that can influence the long-term success of your dental implants can extend beyond the boundaries of the mouth. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and controlling chronic health conditions will help to protect your real teeth and also your artificial teeth. Drug use, smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, and even cardiovascular disease can increase the likelihood of gum disease and the potential for tooth loss.
Your oral surgeon can help to start you off with the best chances for long-term success. Your implant will be placed in healthy, dense bone and your health history will be reviewed to ensure there are no underlying complications.