How Long Does A Dental Implant Last With Proper Care?

Dental implants are currently the best choice for replacing missing teeth. But “How long does a dental implant last?” is a major concern among people. Their greatest advantage is their longevity.

So, let us explain what factors affect the lifespan of your dental implants and what you can do to enhance their longevity even more.

Can Dental Implants Last a Lifetime?

Dental implants usually last between 10 and 30 years. This means that if you get one at a certain age, it might last your entire life. No other tooth replacement lasts as long. Getting a dental implant is a long-term investment in your dental health.

What Makes Dental Implants a Long-Term Solution?

The longevity of dental implants lies in their design. A dental implant is an artificial tooth with a root system. It has three parts: the implant root, an abutment, and a crown. The implant root is a titanium post with ridges like a screw.

This root is surgically placed in the jawbone. Titanium is a material that bonds well with bone in a process called osseointegration. This process takes a few months, but once the bond is strong, it can last for many years.

The Crown Can Require Replacement

A few months after the implant root is placed and bonds with the bone, the abutment and crown can be added. The abutment is a post that connects the root to the crown, which is usually made of durable porcelain and looks like a natural tooth.

While the implant root can last many years, the crown might not. Typically, the crown lasts 10-15 years before needing replacement due to normal wear and tear, though it might last longer for some people. Replacing the crown is less expensive than the whole implant, so replacing it once or twice in your lifetime isn’t too costly.

Factors that Shorten the Lifespan of a Dental Implant

Dental implants last long. However, they are not indestructible like your natural teeth. It’s well-known that some lifestyle choices can cause health problems later on. For dental implants, these unhealthy choices can reduce their lifespan and cause issues. Some of the most common bad habits that can affect dental implants include:

  • Smoking
    Smoking causes stained teeth, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Smokers are three times more likely to lose their implants than non-smokers. If you smoke and are considering dental implants, quitting smoking is a necessary first step.
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption
    Drinking alcohol in moderation is okay, but drinking too much can cause many health problems. Alcohol dehydrates the body and dries out the mouth, creating an environment where bacteria can thrive, leading to gum disease and implant failure. Heavy drinking also weakens the immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene
    Poor oral hygiene is a major cause of gum disease, which can lead to dental implant failure. Make sure to brush and floss twice a day and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.
  • Unhealthy Eating Habits
    What you eat affects the health of your teeth and gums and, therefore, the lifespan of your dental implants. A diet high in sugar increases the risk of cavities, while a diet high in acid can wear down tooth enamel. Eating hard foods like candy or nuts can also damage dental work, including implants. So, it’s important to eat a balanced diet and avoid sugary or acidic foods if you have dental implants.

Concluding Thoughts

The answer to “How long does a dental implant last?” depends on how well you care for it. The key to long-lasting dental implants is using high-quality products, having skilled implant dentists, and getting regular dental checkups.

Visit Dr. Brian Ryu at Katy Cypress Oral Surgery & Implant Center. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeon is extensively trained in tooth extractions, dental implants, facial trauma, oral pathology, and orthognathic surgery. Call us at (281) 667-0607 to secure an appointment.

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