One of the more common questions we get from dental implant candidates is “how long do dental implants last?” The answer to that question largely depends on the patient—but the short answer is they are designed as a permanent solution, and with proper care and upkeep, they may last a lifetime.
Comparing to other tooth replacement solutions
For decades, bridges and crowns were the “go-to” as far as tooth replacement solutions. Although bridges and crowns can last 10 years or more with proper care and good oral hygiene, eventually they will wear out and require replacement. Because these were the best options for many years, most dental patients assume replacement is inevitable, even with dental implants.
What these people don’t realize is that our dental implants are the closest substitute to your real teeth that has ever been available. In theory, with proper hygiene, your original adult teeth can last throughout your entire life span. In effect, the same holds true with dental implants. The better care you take of your new teeth, the longer they are likely to last.
Tips for extending the life of your dental implants
For best results with your new implants, we recommend the following:
- Brush and floss at least twice daily. If you weren’t in the habit of brushing and flossing your original teeth, get in the habit now. Use a brush with soft bristles and tartar control toothpaste. Brush and floss carefully to cover as much of the surface of your teeth as possible. Optimally, you should brush after meals. Ask your dentist to show you the best way to brush and floss.
- Use antimicrobial mouthwash daily. Plaque, gingivitis and mouth infections pose the greatest risk to your implants. A germicide mouthwash will kill the germs that cause plaque and help you keep clean the parts of your teeth you can’t reach by brushing and flossing.
- Visit your dentist every 3-6 months for cleaning and tooth exams. Early detection of issues is the best source of prevention. Regular visits to your dentist will help keep your teeth in optimum condition.
- Contact your dentist at the first sign of trouble. If you’re experiencing tooth/gum/jaw pain or inflammation, don’t write it off as insignificant. Call your dentist to have it checked out.
We can never predict the unexpected, but with proper care and oral hygiene, your new dental implants may never need replacing. To learn more about dental implants and determine whether they are right for you, call Riverside Oral & Facial Surgery today at