Often, when the subject of dental implants arises, one of the first questions to come up is about their expected lifespan. Having these placed is a considerable procedure, and while it can have truly incredible benefits for those with missing and/or heavily damaged teeth, the last thing you want is to have the problem recur time and time again.

Implants are designed to last a lifetime, and with proper care and attention they often will. However, issues with your implants are always possible, and certain behaviors and habits can increase the likelihood of trouble.

Why Do Some Implants Fail?

Dental implants can be anchored in, under, or on top of the jawbone – but in any event, they do require a healthy, stable support base of bone and other tissues. Poor oral hygiene, especially around the implant region, will invite disease and even bone loss. Even a perfect implantation procedure by an expert dentist can fail if patients don't take care of their mouths in the long term.

Ordinarily, teeth contain a central blood vessel, through which nutrients and disease-fighting white blood cells can reach nearby tissues. Since implants lack this blood vessel, the gums surrounding the implant site become more vulnerable to periodontitis and other conditions that threaten oral health. Over time, this may not only degrade the bone on which your implant sits: it can also cause further tooth loss and even heart attacks or strokes.

How To Keep Your Implants Healthy

It's clear that periodontal disease is a big problem for patients with implants, but fortunately, it's usually avoidable. Maintaining good oral hygiene becomes more crucial than ever once you've been fitted with an implant. In addition to brushing and flossing daily, it's important that you receive regular dental checkups and professional cleanings. If you smoke cigarettes or cigars, there's never been a better time to stop.

The crowns atop your implants, too, are vulnerable to damage over time. Wear and tear is only natural, and your crowns may have a limited working lifespan (every situation is different, but you can often expect at least 10 years). That said, you can prevent discoloration with careful daily cleaning, and limit the effects of wearing by taking care not to grind your teeth. Crowns are, fortunately, not at risk of developing cavities – and are rather easy to replace if needed, so long as the implant and underlying bone remain healthy.

To learn more about dental implants contact a dental office like Dental Services Of Rochester