How long will my dental implants last? – Part 2

Before and after implant picture of Kristie

In Part 1 of this discussion on “How long will my dental implants last?” we attempted to place the longevity of dental implants in perspective, which requires good daily homecare regimens. This is the simplest, most cost-effective thing you can do to keep your dental implants healthy.

Here, we’ll expound on the very important need for professional dental implant maintenance over the course of their lifetime.

Keeping your dental implants for a lifetime requires good professional maintenance

In many respects, dental implants are similar to natural teeth when it comes to ensuring they last long term. Like teeth, dental implants also require professional cleanings by either a dental hygienist or a dentist twice per year.

Dentist and patient in dentist office

It’s true, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Visiting a dental office every six months will not only allow your dentist to clean the areas around your dental implants you can’t reach, it will also give them an opportunity to identify potential problems while they are relatively small. Catching problems before they become big issues will help keep your maintenance costs down.

As you may know, your dental implants must be anchored to a healthy jawbone to function properly and last. Oftentimes, a simple X-ray can help a dentist recognize potential bone loss around a dental implant.

What causes bone loss around dental implants?

Bone loss around dental implants can be caused by a few different issues. One common cause of bone loss has to do with infection in the mouth, which leads to bone loss.

The technical term for infection around dental implants is peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis, in large part, can be prevented with good daily homecare cleaning methods, as discussed in Part 1.

dental implant compared to a natural tooth
dental implant compared to a natural tooth

Bone loss around dental implants can also be caused by a shift in your surrounding natural teeth. This shift can cause your bite to be out of balance, which can add undue stress and pressure to your dental implants.

Visiting your dentist office for routine maintenance — at least twice a year — will allow dental professionals to recognize such issues and make the required adjustments to your bite.

A bite adjustment is a painless and quick process a that dentist can perform by simply adjusting the height on your dental implant crown(s). When necessary, this adjustment will help prevent further damage to your implant(s) and help protect your long-term investment.

Finally, the very design of a dental implant may help influence the health of the surrounding bone and gum tissue. A poorly designed dental implant can establish an environment that makes it more difficult to keep the surrounding bone and gum tissue healthy.

We will address the significance of well-designed dental implants in Part 3 of this important subject on “How long should your dental implants last?” If you need to see a dentist experienced in dental implant maintenance, find a Certified TeethXpress Provider near you.

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