Are you considering a dental implant procedure and have some questions about how long they will last? No dental implant lasts forever, but there is some compelling evidence that proves they can last a very long time. Read on for more information.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Many factors figure in to the longevity of dental implants, but the short answer is that most implants will last between 10 and 20 years. Dental implants are a relatively new medical innovation, so there are not many long-term studies chronicling their durability. However, one study found that 91% of dental implants in their test group lasted for 20 years. Another study showed 99% of the dental implants in their cohort lasted 20 years.
It’s also important to note that a dental implant consists of several different parts, all with different risks of wear and failure. The most vulnerable part of the dental implant is the crown, since it is constantly exposed to pressure from chewing, staining from food, and normal wear and tear from daily use. Implant crowns generally last for 10-15 years, although their lifespan can be extended with careful maintenance and regular checkups. The part of the implant that connects to the jawbone is much more durable – these can last 20 years or more.
Factors Affecting Dental Implant Lifespan
Dental implant failures are often the result of external factors unrelated to the quality of your dental work or your implant. Patients with pre-existing conditions like diabetes or oral cancer have a higher risk of dental implant deterioration than patients without these conditions. Patients who smoke also risk a higher dental implant failure rate due to the damage this habit does to oral health.
Location of the dental implant also factors in to the lifespan. Implants that replace molars or other teeth near the back of the mouth tend to wear out faster. The constant pressure from chewing can take a toll on implant durability. Implants that replace teeth near the front of the mouth tend to last longer, since there is less pressure on these teeth while chewing.
Hygiene and regular maintenance also contribute to how long your dental implants will last. Dental implants are just like real teeth – they require regular brushing, flossing, and cleaning in order to keep them healthy and strong. You should also make sure to schedule checkups at least twice a year with your dentist to check on the health of your dental implants, and proactively address any issues that come up. Well-maintained dental implants will last much longer than ones that are neglected.
Will My Dental Implants Last A Lifetime?
Many patients wonder if their dental implants will last a lifetime. This depends on several factors, including the age of the patient, pre-existing health conditions, and whether the implants are regularly maintained. Many dental implants have lasted 20 years or more, so if you get dental implants late in life it’s certainly possible for a dental implant to last a lifetime. Consider this bit of anecdotal evidence. The very first dental implant patient had his procedure done in 1965. His dental implants lasted until his death in 2006 – that’s over 40 years! For the first patient, his dental implants certainly lasted a lifetime.
If you need dental implants, don't wait! Dr. Bowyer currently has availability for new patients. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.