Implant-supported dentures improve the lives of their wearers. The fact that they are permanent frees the person wearing them from diet limitations and difficulty with speech. The presence of dental implants in the jaws also maintains the shape of the lower face. This prevents the sunken look that happens to people that remain toothless.
The life-affirming benefits of implant-supported dentures are so good that they should last a lifetime. More so when you consider the time and resources it takes to get a fully functional set of implant-supported dentures.
Question is, do these dentures last? This piece explores the lifespan of these dentures and the factors that could add or take away from their longevity.
Implant-supported dentures have a typical lifespan of between 10 and 20 years. They could last much longer or in some cases, they could come apart in a much smaller time frame. However, there is much more to the lifespan of implant-supported dentures than just numbers.
Factors that affect the longevity of implant-supported dentures
The people that fabricate dentures choose sturdy materials for the prosthetics. They account for the biting, crushing, shearing and grinding forces that the ‘teeth’ and ‘gums’ of the dentures absorb.
Acrylic resin is the most common material that goes into the gum-colored base of the dentures. Often dentists will recommend metal reinforcement for the base. The denture teeth come in acrylic and less commonly, porcelain. Acrylic teeth are lightweight and they attach firmly to the acrylic base. However, they are not as tough as porcelain teeth.
Apart from a sturdy prosthetic, here are other factors that inform how long implant-supported dentures last:
1. Implant success in the short and long terms
Dental implants are the support structures that hold dentures in place. Their success or failure determines whether or not their owner gets to enjoy the use of permanent dentures that stay in place.
Dental implants have a success rate that is north of 95 percent. This success rate depends on the skill of the professional that does the procedure. The oral surgeon or periodontist ensures that the implants withstand the forces of grinding and shearing by:
It takes skill, precision and experience for a dental professional to get it right. This is why patients need to make sure that their prospective oral surgeon has many happy patients. That said, the success rate of dental implants also depends on other factors like:
2. Oral hygiene
Like a natural tooth, a dental implant can fail because of infection. To avoid this, the wearer of fixed dentures should brush at least twice a day and after every meal whenever possible. As they clean their mouth, they should take time to target the gums, especially the areas that hold the implants. The aim is to remove all debris that may accumulate around the implant and starve harmful bacteria of the fuel they need to attack the gums.
3. Regular dental checks
The person should also see their dentist for periodic checkups. Dentists use these routine checks to evaluate the health of the implants and to perform a deep clean of the dentures and the gums. The dentist will also use these visits to repair the prosthetic if need be. Lastly, the dentist will treat any oral health problems in their early stages, which is a proactive measure that prevents implant failure.
4. Nutrition, general health, and oral health
Good nutrition helps with good health. Good health helps with the longevity of dental implants. A diet rich in vitamins and minerals like calcium helps to maintain bone density. This in turn maintains solid support for dental implants. Eating healthy, crunchy foods like apples also stimulates the regrowth of bone, in addition to scrubbing the gums and providing nutrients.
A few edits to your lifestyle can guarantee that you enjoy your implant-supported dentures for a lifetime. Reach out to us and talk to our dentist to find out more.
Request an appointment here: https://familydentistphoenix.com or call Phoenix Family Dentistry at (602) 547-9007 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.