If you’re missing teeth and considering your tooth replacement options, one factor in your decision may be how long each option lasts.
Dental implants are a type of dental restoration that replaces missing teeth, and they’re designed to be long-lasting … but are they permanent? Below, Dr. David Blaustein at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics discusses how dental implants can last for years.
The anatomy of a dental implant
A dental implant comprises three parts:
- A titanium post that serves as a prosthetic tooth root
- An abutment that connects the post to the crown
- A dental crown that serves as a prosthetic tooth
During dental implant surgery, the titanium post is surgically implanted into your jawbone. Titanium is a biocompatible material that fuses with bone. This process (osseointegration) is why dental implants are considered permanent. It creates a sturdy foundation for your crown.
Your implant also helps stimulate your jawbone and prevents jawbone atrophy.
There are cases of an implant failing to fuse with bone, but this is more likely to occur in individuals who smoke cigarettes after implant surgery. You can reduce your risk of implant failure by following your post-implant surgery instructions as carefully as possible.
A caveat about your dental crown
While your implant post is intended to be permanent, the dental crown, the top portion of your replacement tooth, isn’t impervious to damage. The average life of an implant is 25-30 years.
Just like a natural tooth, a dental crown can be damaged through wear-and-tear, improper use (chewing on non-food items, for example), or traumatic injury.
The good news is that if your crown is damaged, our team here at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics in New York City can repair or replace your crown.
You can also take proactive actions against damage and extend the life of your crown by:
- Wearing a mouthguard if participating in recreational activities or high-impact sports
- Refraining from using your teeth as a tool
- Wearing a night guard if you have bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Brushing your teeth twice a day
- Scheduling routine dental exams
Whether you have a single implant, an implant-supported bridge, or implant-supported overdentures, our team is here to support you along your implant journey.
Are implants right for you?
Dental implants aren’t right for everyone, but candidates enjoy a variety of benefits. They’re fully customizable, so can be made to match the shape, color, and size of your natural teeth. They also restore functionality to your mouth, improving your ability to eat and speak.
You might consider dental implants if:
- You’re committed to the process (it can take a few months from start to finish)
- You’re cleared for surgery
- You have enough jawbone (or can get a bone graft)
- You’re a nonsmoker
If you’d like to talk with Dr. Blaustein about dental implants, call our office in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan or book your appointment online.