Dental implants are a form of restorative dentistry – they are a long-term solution for patients with permanent tooth loss. Implants are incredibly stable and long-lasting, they are the closest thing modern dentistry has to a natural tooth. Most dental implants last between 15-20 years with proper care. However, like our natural, healthy teeth, dental implants are also susceptible to aging, damage, and wearing out. Learn to recognize the signs of an aging dental implant, and contact your dentist if you think it may need to be replaced.
What Causes A Dental Implant to Wear Out?
Dental implants in general, are incredibly strong. They are most often made out of titanium, which is a metal that is quite resistant to breakage. Implants integrate naturally with your jaw bone, so it takes quite a bit of force or trauma to affect them permanently. Some of the most common causes of implant wear and tear include accidents, poor eating habits, and frequent bruxism, or grinding and clenching your teeth. Bruxism is notorious for wearing down both your natural teeth, as well as dental implants.
Signs of an Ageing Dental Implant
Many patients may never require a dental implant replacement. Dental implants have a high success rate of up to 98%, they can last a lifetime. However, nothing truly lasts forever. Even patients with healthy eating and oral care habits could notice signs that their implant is wearing out. Dental implants can become loose, whether it is from poor habits (such as using your teeth to open things), trauma, infection, or an accident. Either way, dental implants can wear out over time.
There are several signs that your dental implants are wearing out or require replacement.
- The implant becomes loose
- There are signs of infection, swelling or redness around the implant
- The implant begins to show above the gumline
- You experience an injury in the area around the implant
- You feel numbness in your face or jaw near the implant
Signs of an implant aging are different from signs of a failing dental implant. Often, patients that experience dental implant failure do so in the first 6 months after placement. Signs of an aging dental implant occur more gradually.
As long as you take proper care of your teeth, it is unlikely that you will experience problems with your implants.
What to Do if your Dental Implant Wears Out
If you notice any of the above signs of an aging dental implant, it’s best to book an appointment with your dentist. There could be several reasons as to why your dental implant feels as though it is not functioning properly and your dentist will help to determine whether or not you will require a new implant. Generally, if the implant feels loose, or you experience pain, discomfort or numbness around the jaw, it’s possible that the implant has shifted and should be replaced.
Dental Implant Repair & Replacement
In some cases, it may be quite simple to fix your implant. If your crown has chipped or cracked, it is very easy to simply replace the crown, without surgery. Your dentist may simply need to add some composite filling material to repair the damage.
However, if your dental implant has shifted or becomes unstable, dental surgery may be required. Dental implants have a very high success rate, however, there are times where they can fail. As a preventative measure, it’s best to visit your dentist every six months and let them know if you experience any changes in the appearance or feeling of your dental implants.
Visit LA Dental Clinic
Whether you have been thinking about getting dental implants, or you think your dental implant may need replacing, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist. At LA Dental Clinic, our team has over 10 years of experience placing dental implants to help patients reach their smile goals. If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, visit our clinic, conveniently located in Los Angeles, and click to book your consultation today.