Dental implants are an increasingly popular solution for people with missing teeth. They are natural looking, require no special care, and function very similarly to a natural tooth. The advantages they offer are significant; however, many patients are curious about how long they are likely to last before making a commitment to this fixed tooth replacement option.
The good news is that dental implant placements have a very high success rate, and once they are placed successfully and healed, they generally have a long lifespan.
Factors Influencing Longevity
Implants are durable, and are built to last a long time. However, how long an implant remains successfully implanted depends not just on the strength of the implant, but on whether it successfully fuses with the bone without complications that may cause the implant to fail and fall out or require removal. A variety of factors will influence how long an individual dental implant will last.
Dental Implant Material
Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone. Over time, the implant fuses with the surrounding bone through a process called osseointegration. This allows it to act as a stable foundation for a dental crown, bridge, or denture. These restorations, which make up the visible portion of an implant, are custom-made from a choice of materials, including porcelain, zirconia, gold, and others.
Titanium is known for its biocompatibility to enable the post to fuse with the jawbone without complications, as well as its strength for durability. The durability of the crown or bridge portion will depend on the material used; gold crowns are likely to last longer. However, even if this portion of the implant is damaged, it may be able to be replaced with a new one if the titanium post is still fused and in good condition.
The success of dental implants relies on the process of osseointegration, where the implant integrates with the surrounding bone. A healthy bone structure and proper healing are crucial for the long-term stability of the implant. Patients who follow post-operative care instructions and maintain good oral hygiene practices significantly enhance the chances of successful osseointegration.
The precision of the implant placement plays a role in the implant’s longevity. Proper placement helps ensure the prosthetic tooth is properly supported and stabilized. Advancements in surgical techniques, such as computer-guided implant placement, have improved the accuracy of surgeries to minimize potential complications.
Oral Hygiene and Maintenance
Patients can play an active role in improving the likelihood of long-term success and helping their implants last longer through diligent oral hygiene practices. Scheduling regular dental check-ups ensures any concerns are addressed as early as possible; professional cleanings ensure good oral health to prevent infections and other concerns. Adopting a thorough oral care routine, including brushing and flossing regularly, and following dentist recommendations, helps support good oral health which in turn helps an implant to last longer.
The patient’s overall health can lead to complications with dental implants that reduce the lifespan of an implant. Conditions like diabetes or autoimmune disorders may impact the body’s ability to heal and integrate the implant successfully. Inform your dentist about your medical history and any medications you are taking so that any potential risks can be mitigated.
Patient compliance with dentist recommendations, including returning for follow-up appointments as necessary also helps ensure a dental implant lasts as long as possible. Proper maintenance, following post-operative care, and watching for any early symptoms of an issue, and advising a dentist of these as soon as possible, help prevent or address complications to aid in long-term success.
Average Lifespan of Dental Implants
The dental implant post can last for 25 years or potentially longer with proper care. For reference, other tooth replacement options, such as bridges and dentures, generally last about ten years. The visible portion of dental implants – the crown or bridge – may need to be replaced more often, about every ten years. However, it is important to ask your dentist about the probable length of time you can expect your implant to last, based on your individual case.
Interested in Dental Implants?
If you have a missing tooth or teeth and are interested in dental implants, Orchard Park Dental offers implant surgeries. Our team can determine if you are a good candidate for implants, and answer any of your questions.
Implants are comfortable and long-lasting, offering a variety of benefits. They fill your gap to make eating and speaking easier and help prevent shifting teeth and bone loss. Contact us today to find out more.