02 Sep 2020
6 min read
By Dr. Marco Benigni
Specialist Oral Surgeon
There are studies suggesting more than 90% of dental implants survive after 30 years.
We can probably say that, if implants are well-maintained and you take good care of them, they can possibly last as long as your natural teeth.
So there are people at 40 years of age who are missing one, two or more teeth because they had infections or accidents or problems with their teeth.
So how long does a tooth last? It depends on what happens to the tooth or to the mouth.
But studies suggest implants can last possibly as long as natural teeth.
Some patients, when they finish their treatment, just disappear.
We never saw them before they came in and we never see them after treatment.
But once the implant treatment is finished, the maintenance protocol begins.
That means coming back regularly to see the hygienist two or three times a year – unless there are gum problems in which case it could be three or four times a year.
The number of times we will need to see a patient will depend on how well they can keep their implants clean.
I usually see my patients once a year for the rest of their life for a check-up.
So, at least once a year, they should see me and we take an x-ray and check to see if the implant is healthy or not.
And, obviously, if there are any problems in between check-ups, they should come to see me immediately.
A small problem can be treated more easily than a large problem.
It’s like not going to see the GP if you have a problem and just waiting. The problem will become a bigger problem.
At home, patients need to clean their teeth in the usual way.
That means brushing twice a day – three times a day if possible including after lunch – and flossing at least once a day.
So it’s like taking care of natural teeth. It’s nothing different from that.
Maybe the instruments can be a little bit different so, in between the teeth, you can use interdental brushes or a special floss.