Advances in technology have improved the dental implant process creating a tooth replacement option that may last the rest of a patient’s lifetime with proper care. Studies have shown that the success rate of dental implants remains at 95% or greater after 50 years or more. So, for patients who take good care of their smile and visit their dentist regularly, dental implants are likely to last a lifetime.
Can Dental Implants Fail?
Dental implant failure is exceedingly rare, but it can happen. For example, dental implants are made of biocompatible materials such as titanium that naturally fuse with existing bone through a process called osseointegration. The small titanium rods are surgically implanted into the jawbone and, over a period of months, bond with the bone to form a strong, stable foundation and serve as a substitute tooth root. Periodontal disease can decrease bone density, which can put implants at risk. Other factors such as uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and smoking can also affect implant success and should be discussed with Dr. Felts or Dr. Randall.
Maintaining good oral hygiene such as brushing twice daily, flossing, and having regular checkups can reduce the risk of implant failure. In many cases, the dental implant can be replaced if it should fail. The new implant has a high chance of success if the underlying conditions responsible for the initial failure are addressed.
Promoting Implant Success
Managing health concerns that may create unsuitable conditions for healthy dental implants is essential. Patients should strive to have any chronic conditions under control and talk to their periodontist about potential risk factors. Any periodontal disease should be treated prior to surgery to protect and preserve bone and gum health. Bone grafting surgery may be performed to ensure there is enough healthy bone material for proper osseointegration.
Dental implants may last for the rest of the patient’s lifetime if the implants successfully fuse to the bone and are well cared for. The titanium rods used are incredibly durable and will not deteriorate over time. A replacement prosthetic, such as a crown or denture, is attached to the dental implant to complete the initial restoration process, and these prosthetics may need to be replaced every few years due to wear and tear. However, the implant itself should not need to be replaced.
Patients who are interested in dental implants as a long-lasting tooth replacement option can call Chattanooga Periodontics & Dental Implants at (423) 756-2450 to schedule a consultation.