A chipped tooth can ruin an otherwise perfect smile, but luckily a dental crown can hide this imperfection. Chips can occur after an injury, but bad habits are also a leading factor. Using your teeth to open packaging or eating biting your fingernails can chip your teeth. While a small chip is not immediately harmful…
How Long Will a Dental Implant Crown Last?
Used by millions of patients around the globe, dental implants (or dental crowns) are an extremely common and important solution to the problem of tooth loss and decay. Of course, in an ideal world, our natural teeth would last us from the moment they arrive to replace our baby teeth until our final days on this planet. Unfortunately, for most people, that simply is not realistic. The American College of Prosthodontics reports that roughly 178 million Americans have lost at least one permanent tooth.
The next best thing would be to have tooth replacements last us for the rest of our lives. However, the reality is that even the best dental crowns will wear down over time against the acids and bacteria that populate your mouth. Typically, an implant should last anywhere from 10 to 25 years before needing a replacement. Where your dental implant falls on that scale is up to you, your dentist and your personal habits. Here are a few things you should know:
Strong materials lead to strong implants
An implant is only as effective as the materials that it is composed of, which means the makeup of your crown is an important factor. Most likely, your implants will be made of a strong kind of corrosion-resistant metal, such as titanium, which gives them the strength they need to deal with what comes into your mouth.
Your crown will probably be made of porcelain, which is used for its durability. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, but it is no match for the strength of porcelain. Because they are made to look and feel like your natural teeth, they are designed to be strong in the face of what you consume. But just like tooth enamel, when you do not take care of them, even strong materials erode over time, leading to more problems.
You still need to brush!
The need for brushing your teeth does not go away when you replace a tooth with a dental implant. In fact, brushing becomes even more important because if your implant does erode before it should naturally be replaced, the process of replacing it will not be pretty. To prevent infections and to keep your implant in top shape, you need to be sure that you are caring for your teeth as often as recommended to keep harmful bacteria from doing serious damage to your mouth.
Bite only food
When you replace a damaged tooth with a crown, one of the biggest benefits is the ability to chew firm, crisp foods, such as carrots or nuts. That presents its own set of problems for your teeth, but biting something like ice chips is much worse. Crunching on ice and other hard things that are not meant for chewing can cause serious forces of pressure in your mouth, leading to a broken crown or worse.
The secret to a long-lasting dental implant.
As with most things, the better you take care of your crown, the longer you can expect it to last. Your dentist will do everything possible to get you the best materials to save your tooth, and after that, your tooth is your responsibility. If you give it the care that it deserves, chances are that you will have it for much of the next 20 years or more.
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