Dental implants are the most amazing innovation in modern dentistry because they allow us to give you a replacement tooth that looks and functions just like a natural tooth. Like your natural teeth, dental implants are even capable of lasting a lifetime. But only with proper maintenance. That’s why it’s important to be prepared to perform maintenance of your dental implants from the first to the last.

Unfortunately, some patients aren’t willing to do this. A new study has identified some risk factors for people who are more likely to stop taking care of their dental implants.

mature adult woman smiling with teeth

Making Follow-Up Visits

This study looked at nearly 700 individuals who received dental implants at a university clinic in Osaka, Japan. The patients received treatment from January 2008 to December 2012, about five years. Patients were expected to come into their dentist every six months. Of these patients, about 180 decided to stop coming to the dentist for these regular follow-up care.

Which patients decided to stop coming for follow-up care? The research identified several key variables.

First of all, men were about 1.5 times more likely than women to stop coming to their dentist for follow-up care. Older individuals were also more likely to stop making follow-up visits. Individuals greater than 65 years in age were 1.6 times more likely to stop dental care.

In an unfortunate combination, people who are performing worse oral hygiene at home are also more likely to stop making follow-up visits. Oral hygiene was measured using the Plaque Control Record (PCR). The PCR is calculated by taking the number of surfaces that have plaque on them and dividing it by the total number of surfaces. Patients who had a PCR of 20% or more were more than twice as likely to stop follow-up visits.

But youth was the most significant factor in stopping follow-up visits. Patients who were 29 or less at the time of implant placement were nearly six times as likely to stop making follow-up visits as those age 30-64.

This is very unfortunate, because it’s these patients who will need to take the most care to ensure that their implants last a lifetime, especially to help them avoid the risk of gum disease as they get older.

Protect Your Investment in Dental Implants

If you are considering dental implants, you have to be prepared to take responsibility for follow-up care if you want them to last a lifetime. At Strober Dental, we do everything possible to establish the initial conditions for success, including having a dental implant specialist who can place your implants so we can reduce your risk of complications.

But we need your help to ensure your dental implants last twenty, thirty years, or more. In addition to making regular follow-ups at our office, you have to perform proper oral hygiene at home and avoid damaging habits that can destroy your dental implants.

If you want to learn more about getting the most out of your dental implants in Rancho Mirage, please call (760) 832-7915 for an appointment at Country Club Dentistry.