After some consideration between the two, you’re finding yourself landing pretty squarely on the side of dental implants over dentures. You’ve done the research and liked what you saw. There’s probably one more question that you’re probably asking yourself: How long can dental implants last? Are they disposable and need to be changed every year or so or are they longer lasting?
Generally speaking, dental implants can have a lifetime of up to 25 years, which is substantially longer than something like dentures, which tend to only last up to a quarter of that same time. Part of that is because the dental implants are anchored to the jaw thanks to the titanium screws while the dentures are just seated in the empty spaces and can be removed or slip, which can create a lot more chance of it being broken or damaged.
That’s not to say that the implants are impervious to injury. Far from it. They can be broken… just like your natural teeth. Just as your dentist tells you to stop doing things like chewing on pens or using your teeth to open anything from a plastic bag to anything else. If you do that with your implants, you’re going to drastically reduce their lifespan. Treat them like the teeth you were born with – carefully and with respect.
When it comes to food choices, you’re not going to find yourself as limited as you would be with dentures, since they can don’t shift around and possibly get things caught underneath it. That doesn’t mean that you should eat a lot of crunchy food or hard candy. If you do want candy, try to get the kind that can melt in your mouth… and let it do that instead of crunching down on it, as tempting as it may be. Getting the implants put in can be expensive. Having to replace them after having something break can be an added blow to your wallet.
One thing that you really have to pay attention to is how you care for your teeth after the implants are put in. You need to be doubly diligent about brushing and flossing your teeth, especially around the implant areas. While the screws are fused with your jawbone – in most cases, though there are some same-day dental implants without that – you need to take care of the surrounding teeth and gum area. Neglecting that can create a lot of problems down the road.
There’s one factor that you cannot entirely control – the dentist’s overall ability with these implants. An experienced one will be able to tell instantly if the titanium screws are properly fusing with your jawbone and can properly set the implant. Ideally, you would have had a conversation with the dentist about the entire procedure before. Perhaps you may know people who have had the same procedure with him or her.
Coastal Dental, based in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, has a staff that’s skilled at handling dental implants. Dr. Joseph Zicchino has been practicing dentistry for a very long time and he’ll make sure that you have the best fit and material for your implant.