By Kate Ranta on Jul 25, 2014 @ 11:53 AM
Dental implants have existed for centuries. A third century B.C. dental implant—an iron pin—recently was discovered in La Chêne, France, according to the Huffington Post. The article reports that ancient implants fashioned from bone, shell and other material have also been found in Algeria and Egypt.
In our time, implants are more common than we often realize.
Perhaps you have decided to bite the bullet, so to speak, and invest in dental implants. It’s a significant investment, in terms of time and money. So naturally, you also may be wondering about whether your dental implants will last a lifetime—or do they ever have to be replaced?
The best answer any dental professional can offer is: it depends. Here’s why.
Caring for Implants
The International Congress of Oral Implantologists lets us know that the key reason to decide to get implants—other than maintaining a great smile—is to help maintain your jawbone. That makes it doubly important to care for your dental implants.
While dental implants are made to be tough, like natural teeth, they are subject to normal wear and tear, accidents and other factors.
Just like your natural teeth, your new implants need daily, conscientious care. Careful brushing twice a day, daily flossing, and routine dental visits to your dentist all work together to help those implants last.
That means maintaining your oral health is something that you can do to help prevent the need for replacing your implants.
Other factors that may affect the life of your implants include nutrition, diseases and perhaps even genetics.
- Maintaining a balanced, nutritious diet is not just good for your implants—it’s good for your overall health and well-being.
- Periodontal disease is a prime factor in the life of implants. If you are prone to periodontal disease, you and your dentist can create a plan specifically tailored for you to help you maintain your oral health—and prolong the life of your implants.
- Scientists have been studying whether genetics may play a role in implant health. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), part of the National Institutes for Health, a systematic review of the research to date does not show a conclusive link between genetics and implant health. But the studies don’t rule out a link either, prompting the NCBI to recommend more studies.
The best advice? Check with the professionals who are familiar with your oral health. They can offer you the best chance for making your implants last a lifetime.