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28 February 2017

Lifespan of Dental Implants

An often asked, and very reasonable, question is “How long do dental implants last?” No dentist in Manchester can answer that question with any degree of certainty as there are too many variables that must be factored in.

There have been cases of implants lasting up to forty years without any problem. To counter that, however, there have been rare occurrences where implants have failed to root properly and been rejected within months. Another thing to be considered is that the technique is still relatively new and most dental implants have only been fitted in the last twenty years. It is practically impossible to state categorically how long dental implants or implant retained dentures will, or can be expected to, last.

Increasing the Longevity of Dental Implants

As is the case with natural teeth, paying care and attention to oral hygiene is also crucial to maintaining dental implants in good order and increasing their longevity.

  • Dental Hygiene. Whether it is a single dental implant or a set of implant retained dentures, regular flossing and thorough brushing at least twice a day is necessary to keep bacteria at bay and prevent a buildup of plaque around the root of the implant. A sonic toothbrush is recommended for cleaning teeth after having dental implants fitted as these brushes clean at much faster speeds than an electric toothbrush to remove greater amounts of plaque and debris.
  • Dental Visits. Regular visits to your local dentist are a must in order to spot any problems as early as possible and prevent more serious issues further down the line.
  • Smoking. Or rather NO Smoking! Just as nicotine and cigarette smoke are no friends to your natural teeth and gums, they have similar adverse effects on implants. Any good private dentist in Manchester, or indeed anywhere, would probably not even suggest dental implants to a smoker but who’s to say the patient won’t resume his nicotine habit once the implants have been fitted.

No Guarantees

Whether you are having a single implant or implant retained dentures (also known as All-on-Four as an entire upper or lower set of teeth is secured on four titanium posts) fitted, no private dentist or dental clinic can, or should, offer life-time guarantees on the work.

There is simply no way of knowing how long implants will last but any decent dentist can certainly guarantee follow-up check-ups and x-rays to detect any possible failures. The American Dental Association has estimated the lifespan of implants at around 25 years — but stress the need for the implants to have been correctly fitted by a qualified dental surgeon and well cared for by the patient.

The best dental surgeon in the world can only fit the implants and it is totally up to the individual to look after them properly afterwards. The biggest reason for dental implants failing to last is a lack of proper care and attention so, in many ways, how long dental implants last is entirely up to you.

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