How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

If you lose a tooth, you shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed. More than 120 million Americans are missing one or more teeth. So unless you plan to never smile or open your mouth around other people, you should consider a dental procedure that can help you replace your missing tooth or teeth.

One of the most successful ways to replace a missing tooth is with a dental implant. In fact, dental implants are considered the most advanced solution for missing teeth with a long-term success rate of up to 97%.

The expert team at Fresh Dental Care, with three Houston area locations, offers dental implants to restore your smile and boost your confidence.

What is a dental implant?

Dental implant surgery is a procedure where an oral surgeon implants a post, or artificial tooth root, into your jawbone. Once the implant is inserted into your jawbone, the surrounding bone heals and integrates with the implant. The process is called osseointegration. This integration holds the implant firmly in place, making it a sturdy anchor for a permanent crown or bridge.

It usually takes a few months for the jawbone to heal and the bone to grow around the implant. Once the implant is set and healed, the next step is getting fitted for a crown to replace one missing tooth, or a dental bridge to replace more than one. Your dentist takes a mold of your teeth to help them create a perfectly fitted artificial tooth or set of teeth. Once the artificial teeth are finished, the crown or dental bridge is permanently fitted to your jaw.

The result is a tooth or teeth that look and feel natural. It may take some time to get used to your new teeth, but eventually, you’ll be eating, chewing and smiling like you did before you were missing any teeth.

Why would I need a dental implant?

People lose their teeth for a variety of reasons. Over time our teeth wear away and decay. This can lead to missing or unstable, chipped teeth. These teeth imperfections can affect our appearance, ability to chew, speech, and shape of the face. Furthermore, missing teeth can lead to shifting teeth and poor dental health.

A traumatic injury, cancer, or chronic diseases such as diabetes can also lead to gum disease and missing teeth. Most healthy patients with healthy gums are candidates for dental implants. However, those with diabetes, heart disease, or other underlying health conditions should first consult with their dentist and doctor. 

How long should I expect my dental implant to last?

Dental implants are considered permanent and long-lasting. However, implants, as with our natural teeth, treat us well if we treat them well. Quitting smoking and following good oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day and daily flossing help ensure a long life for your implant.

Additionally, regular dental checkups and cleanings can help make sure implants function properly. Following a healthy diet and avoiding hard candies and tooth-staining foods and drinks such as caffeine can also prolong the integrity of your implant and crown. 

Are you missing a tooth and want to know if a dental implant is right for you? Call Fresh Dental Care to schedule an appointment at one of our three convenient Houston area offices.

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