How Long Full Mouth Dental Implants Last
Thanks to consistent improvement in dental implant technology as they’ve increased in popularity over the last few decades, full mouth dental implants at Missour River Dental failure is rarely caused by implant rejection or mechanical issues. Instead, the factors that contribute most significantly to the longevity of dental implants are overall oral hygiene and the habits and choices of the patient. Gum disease, pre-existing medical conditions that are not well-managed, and abuse of the implant have become the most common reasons for dental implants to fail.
Dental implants are made of an implant post, an abutment, and a crown. The implant post is made of titanium or zirconia and is surgically implanted into the jaw. The abutment is affixed to the implant and supports the crown, which is an artificial tooth that sits at the gumline and looks and acts like a natural tooth. The longevity of the dental implant post itself is largely dictated by the health of the oral cavity, and untreated gum disease will almost inevitably lead to implant failure, but with effective oral hygiene, a dental implant post can last a lifetime. Dental implants can be cleaned at home the same way the natural teeth are, with twice daily brushing and daily flossing, and they should be professionally cleaned regularly at dental checkups, just like natural teeth. When dental hygienists clean dental implants, however, they’ll use highly specialized tools to clean the area around the implant post and the gums while protecting the surface of the porcelain crowns.
While implants can last a lifetime with proper care, implant crowns can be expected to last anywhere from ten to 15 years before they need to be replaced because of regular wear and tear. Implant crowns in the back of the mouth can also be expected to wear out more quickly than anterior crowns, as they are subjected to more force while chewing. Dental abutments can also break, but they are usually easily replaced. If your abutment breaks and your dental crown loosens or falls out, be sure to hang on to the crown and take it with you to the dentist. When you get your full mouth dental implants, your implant team will teach you how to care for them properly, but it goes without saying that you should avoid using dental implant crowns for anything other than eating and chewing edible things. Don’t use your implants to open bottles or tear packaging, and avoid chewing on pens and other things not fit for consumption.
If you have diabetes or other pre-existing conditions, make sure to disclose this at your initial consultation for full mouth dental implants. Your dental implant team will work with you and your primary care doctor to ensure that your condition is well-managed before implants are placed and discuss the risk factors you still face. Even with proper management, some conditions increase the risk of implant failure. Additionally, habits like smoking and drinking alcohol increase the risk of gum disease, which increases the risk of implant failure, so you and your implant team can discuss smoking cessation programs and other holistic methods for behavior management. Because so many of the factors that contribute to the success of dental implants are externally imposed, patients should view them as an important asset that deserves to be cared for and supported.