When you have missing teeth or teeth that need extensive repair, you’ll probably hear that dental implants are the best option. And they are by far the best option because they look and function just like natural teeth. They have a high satisfaction rate: 98% of people who have them say it was “worth it.”
But they’re also more expensive, so you may wonder about their expected lifespan. Fortunately, you can increase how long dental implants last, and they are usually permanent. In this post, the providers at Dental Art of South Bay in Torrance, California, explain more about what you can expect from dental implants.
How dental implants work
When you’re missing a tooth or need to have one replaced, dental implants are a superior choice. Here’s how the general process works to create a dental implant.
First, the dentist will pull your tooth if you still need it. The dentist can generally start the work of putting in a replacement right away, as long as your mouth is healthy. You can also wait a bit to get the implant, but it’s recommended to get it done within six months after a tooth extraction. After that, you start to lose bone mass.
Next, the dentist creates an artificial tooth root by inserting a metal post, which is made out of titanium. This metal fuses to your jawbone, creating an artificial root for your tooth that is stable and secure.
Then, the metal root fuses to your jawbone, which takes 3-6 months. If you don’t have enough jawbone to fuse to the titanium, the dentist may have to do a process which is called bone grafting. This is where we use tissue, either from your own body or from another source, to help support the artificial root.
Once the metal root is solidly in place, the dentist puts an abutment on top. It screws into your post to hold the crown in place, which we put on top. The crown is made to match your nearby teeth and the end result will look and feel completely natural.
Normal lifespan of dental implants
The good news is that a dental implant is usually expected to be as permanent as possible. It is possible that a dental implant might get infected, but this is rare. You can expect your dental implant to last for as long as your natural teeth.
Certain health conditions and habits influence how long your natural teeth will last, however. If you smoke or have diabetes, tooth loss is more likely.
Taking care of your teeth is even more important if you have dental implants. You should brush your teeth twice a day and use an interdental device, such as a water flosser, to really clean between your teeth.
In addition, you should keep up with your regular dental cleanings. The dentist wants to make sure that your mouth is healing well.
If you have missing or diseased teeth, dental implants can make a huge difference in how your mouth feels and functions. Contact the providers at Dental Art of South Bay today or request an appointment online.