Are you considering getting a dental implant? Dental implants are considered to be the best tooth replacement option due to their many benefits. They provide a natural look and function with the bite strength of a healthy tooth. Dental implants also preserve the bone structure of your jaw without damaging your healthy teeth.
If you have one or more missing teeth, dental implants may be the best solution. But before you invest in a dental implant, you may be wondering how long it will last. Here’s what you can expect.
Dental Implants Last 30+ Years or Forever
It may surprise you, but dental implants can last for at least 30 years and many last forever. Once the implant fuses with the jaw bone, it can stay in place for the rest of your life. When you think about it that way, it seems like a very worthwhile investment.
How Do Dental Implants Last So Long?
The key to their longevity is in the design. A dental implant consists of a titanium post that is surgically placed in the jaw bone to replace the natural root of your missing tooth. Titanium is a biocompatible material that has the ability to fuse with the bone in your jaw. An implant also has threads or ridges like a screw that allow it to form a solid hold.
Once the implant successfully fuses with the jaw, an abutment and crown can be attached to the top. The crown is usually made of porcelain because of its strength and natural resemblance to tooth enamel.
The reason dental implants last so long is because they are a self sustaining system. The implant itself serves to strengthen and fortify the jaw bone that holds it in place.
Will the Crown Portion Last Forever?
Not necessarily. The crown portion of a dental implant is susceptible to wear and tear over time. A porcelain crown can last an average of 15 years, but will often last longer than that depending on a variety of factors like chewing force, eating habits, bite alignment, and more. The good news is that replacing the crown portion of your dental implant is easy and much less expensive than the original cost and procedure.
What Can Shorten the Life of a Dental Implant?
Some dental implants don’t last forever. There are a variety of reasons for this. Some dental implants are doomed from the start, whereas others last for a while and then fail due to other issues. Here are some of the main reasons a dental implant doesn’t last.
- Insufficient bone structure. If your jaw bone is not thick enough or strong enough to support a dental implant, it may never fuse properly. Your dentist will do a thorough examination to ensure that your jaw is able to support an implant before placing one. If it isn’t, a bone graft may be done to prepare the bone.
- Gum disease. The gums are an important part of the support structure for the teeth. If gum disease is present and becomes severe, the gums may fail to support an implant and prevent it from healing properly. Your dentist will need to treat your gum disease before placing a dental implant.
- Dental implantitis. Similar to gum disease, dental implantitis refers to an infection that forms at the site of the implant. The gum tissue becomes infected and can cause the implant to fail to fuse with the bone. In many cases this infection can be treated and the implant may still be successful.
- Bone diseases. Another potential issue that can cause a dental implant to fail is if you have a bone disease like osteoporosis. Osteoporosis causes a weakening of the bones that can include the jaw bone, making it too weak to support an implant. Other bone conditions could cause similar problems.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Dental Implant
There are some steps you can take to help your dental implant to last as long as possible, such as:
- Take care of your teeth. It is important to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day to remove plaque and keep your gums healthy.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking restricts the blood flow to your gums which can cause a dental implant to fail to heal and solidify.
- Follow your dentist’s instructions. Be sure to follow your dentist's instructions following the placement of your implant.
- Lead a healthy lifestyle. Keeping up your overall health and wellness can help your dental implant to last for the rest of your life.
Attleboro Family Dental Care Provides Dental Implant Services
Are you looking for a dentist who can provide you with one or more long lasting dental implants? Attleboro Family Dental Care specializes in dental implant placement. We perform careful screenings to ensure that you are an ideal candidate for a dental implant and that it is highly likely to be successful before beginning the process. We also use guided implant technology to ensure accurate placement.