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How long do implants last for?

Dental implants can last many years when carefully maintained with excellent oral hygiene. Think of dental implant treatment like having a hip replacement – you would expect the artificial joint to last 10-20 years and then it might need re-treating. Dental implants require a similar approach. It is important that you look after your dental implant(s) for the very best, long-lasting results.


How are dental implants maintained?

Maintaining your dental implants means keeping effective oral hygiene every day, including twice daily brushing and cleaning between the false tooth (crown) and the neighbouring teeth once per day. It is also important to visit your dentist and/or dental hygienist as regularly as they recommend for professional assessment and cleaning.


What is peri-implant disease?

There are two types of periodontal disease that can affect dental implants: peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis. The former is less aggressive and its symptoms can be reversed if identified and treated quickly. Peri-implantitis is a more advanced version of the disease. This is an infection of the gum and bone around a dental implant, which causes a progressive loss of the surrounding jawbone. If left untreated, it can cause serious problems and eventually lead to failure of the dental implant – which would then need to be removed.

Symptoms of peri-implant disease include:

  • Swollen or red gums around the dental implant
  • Pus at the dental implant site
  • Tenderness or discomfort in the gums around the dental implant
  • A bad taste in the mouth
  • Loosening/movement of the dental implant

Prevention is vital to ensure the long-term health of your dental implants. Excellent oral hygiene is the best way to prevent any dental disease and will help keep your dental implants healthy for longer. Visiting your dentist and/or dental hygienist regularly is also important for them to check the health of both your gums and jawbone.

If peri-implant disease does occur, it's crucial to seek professional help as fast as possible. Your dentist will remove any bacteria and damaged tissue from the area. They will also provide antimicrobial therapy to clean the field and prevent re-infection. Other treatment options include antimicrobial mouth rinses and topical gels – your dentist will advise on the best course of action for you. 


What do you do if you are having problems with your dental implants?

If you have any concerns about your dental implant(s), or are experiencing some of the symptoms discussed, schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible. Your dentist is best placed to assess your mouth and provide bespoke recommendations to help improve the health of your dental implant(s).