Dental implants offer a long-lasting tooth replacement, but actually how long does long-lasting mean in this case?
If you are missing one tooth or many, it’s crucial to have them replaced. When you lose a tooth it affects your remaining teeth, the health of your jaw and can lead to more tooth loss or other oral health concerns. The most modern and advanced solution to replace missing teeth is implant dentistry, something that Dr. Acker at Elite Dental of Staten Island has a special interest in.
How long does it take to get dental implants?
A dental implant is a titanium screw that is surgically placed at the site of the missing tooth root. Your jawbone is left to integrate around the implant, creating a strong toothroot. Depending on the treatment solution that fits you, this can take roughly 4 weeks or 4-6 months. Once properly healed, a dental crown, bridge or denture is attached to the implant, giving you a whole tooth restoration.
While treatment and healing time can take up to 6 months there are great advantages to your oral health. Missing teeth can create a domino effect of oral health problems. A lost tooth affects the health of your jaw which can affect your remaining teeth as well as the alignment of your bite. And a misaligned bite can in turn cause headaches, neck and shoulder pain.
Implants are a safe, well-established treatment. They will normally last for as long as you care for them, just like with your own natural teeth. The success rate of your procedure depends on a number of factors, including:
- Your oral health
- Placement of implant: it takes longer for an implant in the upper jaw to heal
- Your natural ability to heal (e.g. smoking slows this down)
The biggest impact on how long your implants will last is dependent on how well you look after them and how often you go for your dental appointments. If you don’t look after your implants they can develop a coating similar to what you get on neglected natural teeth. If left untreated, this can lead to bleeding, soreness and perioimplantitis (gum disease for dental implants). Perioimplantitis is the leading cause of dental implant failure, just as gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss, which is why it is so important to look after your oral health after treatment.
How long dental implants last
While the dental implant may last a lifetime, the dental crown or bridge attached to the implant does have a lifespan. Generally, if you take good care of your dental prosthetic it can last up to 15 years before needing to be replaced.
The most efficient way to look after both your implant and prosthetic is by having a check-up every six months and to have the appropriate x-rays taken to check the health of your implant. If well looked after, you can expect them to last for many years.
If you would like to know more about our dental implant option, or to book an appointment at Elite Dental of Staten Island, please contact us today.