If you’ve ever lost a tooth, you understand the impact that missing teeth can have on your confidence and your oral health. Dental implants are one of the best options for restoration currently available. Dental implants look, feel and function just like natural teeth. They are low maintenance too. They are a great long term solution for people that have lost teeth as a result of decay or other types of damage. If you’ve got dental implants or are considering getting them, you may be wondering how long they last. Below, we take a closer look at dental implants in the hope of answering the question ‘how long do dental implants last.’
Components of a Dental Implant
Dental implants are designed to mimic natural teeth as closely as possible. They consist of three parts:
- The titanium post is the part that is embedded into the jaw. It mimics the natural root of a tooth and acts as an anchor.
- The abutment is the part of the titanium post that can be seen above the gum line. This is the part to which the crown or restoration is attached.
- The tooth restoration is the part that replaces the tooth. This custom restoration is often a crown that looks and functions like the natural tooth.
Why Do Dental Implants Last So Long?
Do tooth implants last forever? No. The average lifespan of dental implants is between 10 to 30 years. However, they are the closest to a long term solution as tooth replacements come today. These restorations last so long because of their design.
The root (or the titanium post) has threads like a screw. When the post is implanted into the jaw bone surgically, the bone grows and the post fuses to the jawbone through a process known as osseointegration. This forms a solid bond.
Dental Implants Vs. Other Tooth-Replacement Options
Dental implants offer many benefits over other tooth replacement options such as dentures and bridges.
- Unlike dentures and bridges, dental implants are not removable. They are therefore easier to maintain. You simply need to maintain good oral hygiene habits.
- Implants last much longer than dentures or bridges. This is because of their design. Bridges last for about 8 years while dentures can last up to 15 years. Implants can last for up to 30 years.
What Factors Can Cause an Implant to Fail?
There are various factors that can lead to implant failure. These include:
- Too little bone tissue in the jaw due to waiting too long after a tooth goes missing to have an implant resulting in the jaw bone shrinking away
- Failure to keep up with routine dental care and hygiene including brushing your teeth at least twice a day
- Teeth grinding which can result in weakening of the implant. This can be mitigated by using mouth guards.
- Smoking including vaping
- Using medications such as immunosuppressants or blood thinners
- Health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and compromised immune system.
What Can I Do to Make My Dental Implant Last Longer?
- Brush and floss your teeth
- Go to the dentist every 6 months
- Avoid smoking
- Live a healthy lifestyle
Thinking About Dental Implants?
Are you missing a tooth or more? Dental implants could be the best solution to restore your smile and help maintain your oral health. Contact us and schedule consultation with Dr. Timothy A. Hess DDS. We’ll provide you with a comprehensive oral examination to determine if dental implants would be a good option for you. We will also explore other options with you so you can make an informed decision.
Contact us now to schedule your consultation.