How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants are an excellent option for long-term replacement of missing and damaged teeth as they look, feel and function just like natural teeth and only need the same care and maintenance. But how long do dental implants last? The answer depends mainly upon the recipient’s lifestyle and overall dental hygiene. 

The technology behind dental implants has advanced in the last ten to twenty years to the point that failures due to the mouth’s rejection of an implant or functionality issues have become very rare. Pre-existing medical conditions, diseases, and implant misuse are usually to blame when an implant does fail. 

What Is A Dental Implant Made Of?

Implants last so long because of what they’re made of:

1. Implant – The titanium or zirconia screw that is surgically embedded in the jawbone of a patient and serves as a root for the crown.

2. Abutment – The abutment is fastened to the implant, holding the crown in place.

3. Crown – The crown is a ceramic false tooth that is mounted atop the abutment and provides the look and function of a natural tooth.

Normally, the crown and abutment are more prone to damage than the implant itself because they are actively used in biting and chewing.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

With regular brushing and flossing, the implant itself can last for a lifetime, assuming the patient receives regular dental check-ups twice a year. The crown on top, however, usually only lasts about 10 to 15 years before normal wear and tear may require the patient to seek a replacement. However, maintaining excellent dental hygiene and careful use — not using your teeth to open containers, or chew on objects not meant to be eaten — could extend the crown’s life beyond 15 years. The location in the patient’s mouth is also a factor in determining the longevity of a dental implant. Implants in the back of the mouth are actively used in chewing which can cause them to wear out faster than implants near the front of the mouth used only for taking bites.

Dental Implants vs. Other Tooth Replacement Options

A dental implant is designed to be a permanent solution for missing teeth and has quickly become the preferred tooth-replacement option for many patients. A dental implant acts as a natural tooth and can withstand biting or chewing without slipping like sometimes happens with dentures. This is because implants are permanently placed and all cleaning — brushing twice daily and flossing — is done in your mouth alongside your natural teeth. Because they are attached to the interior jawbone and not other teeth, implants don’t stress or damage neighbor teeth, as dental bridges sometimes do. 

How Can Dental Implants Fail?

As mentioned above, dental implants can provide a long-term, possibly lifelong replacement for missing or damaged teeth when properly cared for. However, there are several factors that can cause an implant to fail prematurely. Patients living with diabetes or other pre-existing medical conditions, such as cancer, have a higher risk of dental implant failure. 

Although the crowns are artificial, dental implants must be maintained through regular brushing and flossing in order to keep the implant healthy in the gum and jaw bone. Not maintaining oral hygiene can lead to periodontal (gum) disease, causing implants to become unstable.

Dental Implants in Indianapolis, IN

If you are considering dental implants, you need to see the best implant dentist possible. Paradox Dental Center is a respected provider with years of experience serving the Indianapolis area. For a consultation with a Paradox Dental Center dentist about dental implants or any other dental concern, please call (317) 325-8612 or schedule online.