Patient ask :
I heard from internet sources that dental implants last forever. A friend of mine had an implant done a few years ago and now it’s loosening. The dentist says my friend has poor hygiene. If implants last a lifetime, why is it that poor hygiene can cause it to loosen?
Admin answer :
Dental implants MAY last a lifetime. Their durability is dependent on several factors. True, implants don’t decay, but like natural teeth, the gums and bone surrounding an implant can get infected due to poor oral hygiene.
Chronic inflammation “melts” away the bone holding the implant. Even with very good oral hygiene, some of the older designs of dental implants have microgaps inherent in the system which trap bacteria and cause chronic inflammation, giving rise to bone resorption even with good oral hygiene.
With better knowledge nowadays, dentists are less likely to use systems which have microgaps. Still, inflammation and bone resorption will set in if implants are not properly maintained.