How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years, or more, depending on a number of factors. There is a large interindividual variability on dental implant lifetime. In most cases, the success rate for dental implants is about 95% and continues to improve because of rapid advancements being made.
To answer this question more effectively, we have to explore the anatomy of a dental implant. In general, dental implants are composed of:
Dental implants are screw-like metal posts made from either titanium or zirconium that are drilled into the jawbone. Patients still need a crown (artificial tooth) that is placed over the top of the dental implant to restore normal oral functionality. The crown is secured to the implant with the help of an abutment.
Both the crown and abutment are exposed to food particles and constant chewing forces that accelerate wear and tear. In general, the crown and abutment may last anywhere from five to 15 years. Patients can increase the lifetime of their dental implants by taking good care of their teeth and staying on top of oral hygiene.
Factors That Affect Dental Implant Lifetime
There are several factors that can affect dental implants and disrupt the healing process.
Smokers have a lower success rate with dental implants. Smoking deteriorates oral hygiene and restricts blood flow to the surgical site, disrupting the healing process. It is also worth noting that smoking can increase the likelihood of gum disease, which can lead to bone loss.
Grinding the teeth can unnecessarily wear down the dental plant, causing the screw to loosen up. In addition, it can also irritate and damage the crown. This is why patients with severe bruxism may not be candidates for dental implant surgery.
Loss of Jawbone Density
Loss of bone density can lead to dental implant failure. Certain types of gum disease, such as periodontitis, can lead to bone loss. Without treatment, periodontitis can destroy the bone that provides support to the dental implant. This is why it is important to check in with the dentist once every six months for a cleaning and examination.
Dental Implant FAQ
Are Dental Implants Safe?
Dental implants are very safe as long as they are performed by skilled oral surgeons. At Fairmount Dental Center, our dentists know all about dental implants and have years of experience. Contact us for more information.
How Soon Can I Get Back to Work?
Although the healing time for dental implants takes about six months or more, you can get back to work as early as two days after the surgery. Just make sure to follow the post-op instructions.
Longevity: Dental Implants vs Dentures
Most high quality dentures last for up to 10 years with good care. This makes dental implants superior to dentures because they easily last more than 20 years.
For more information on dental implants, call us at (503) 362-8364 and schedule an appointment with our expert Dr. Luisa Snyder.