When teeth are injured, infected, or structurally damaged, it can be challenging to determine the best path back to oral health. Sometimes endodontists can save natural teeth with root canals. When teeth are beyond saving, dental implants are an option. Implants are safe, remain securely in your mouth 24/7, and help prevent further jawbone loss. Properly cared for dental implants can last many years.
What The Research Says About Dental Implant Longevity
- Dental implants have been used reliably for more than 50 years. Implants are recognized as more effective than many types of bridgework.
- Root canal treatments and dental implants have similar levels of durability. Both restorations have a success rate of about 95 percent over post-implant periods as long as 16 years.
- Pre-implant oral health and post-implant oral care impact dental implant longevity. The best candidates for implants have healthy gums and enough jawbone density for support. Heavy smokers or patients with systemic conditions like diabetes must be evaluated for implants on a case-by-case basis. Following dental implant surgery, caring for the implant like a natural tooth is critical to ensuring its long-term endurance.
- Teeth grinding threatens dental implant success. The forces involved in grinding (bruxism) can damage the implant. Patients with bruxism who use a night guard or take other steps to control their teeth grinding can expect a better success rate.
“The choice to get dental implants should rest on the health of the teeth in question, the health of the patient, and their commitment to post-procedure upkeep,” says Dr. Jacqueline S. Allen, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “Like root canals, the procedure has a high success rate under the right conditions.”