Dental implants are an excellent choice for long-term tooth replacement, looking like and requiring only the care given to natural teeth. But how long do dental implants last? The answer to this question depends largely on the patient’s lifestyle and overall dental hygiene. The technology of dental implants has advanced so much over the last ten to twenty years that implant failures due to rejection or functionality issues have become very rare. Pre-existing medical conditions, diseases, and implant misuse are the most likely culprits when an implant does fail.
Components of a Dental Implant
To better understand what helps an implant to last, please review the components of an implant below:
- Implant – The titanium or zirconia post that is surgically placed in the jawbone of a patient and serves as a root for the crown.
- Abutment – The abutment is fastened to the implant and holds the crown in place.
- Crown – The crown is a ceramic false tooth that is attached to the abutment and provides the look and function of a natural tooth.
In general, the the crown and abutment are more prone to damage than the implant itself because they are exposed and actively used in biting and chewing.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
With regular brushing and flossing, the implant piece itself can last a lifetime, assuming the patient receives regular dental check-ups twice a year. The crown, however, usually only lasts about 10 to 15 years before normal wear may cause it to require a replacement. However, excellent dental hygiene could extend the life beyond 15 years. Mouth location is also a factor in the figuring the life of a dental implant. Implants in the back of the mouth are used more actively in chewing, which can cause them to wear out more quickly than implants near the front of the mouth.
Dental Implants vs. Other Tooth Replacement Options
A dental implant is designed to be a permanent solution for missing teeth and has become the preferred tooth-replacement option. A dental implant provides acts as a natural tooth and can withstand biting or chewing without slipping as there can be with dentures. And unlike dentures, implants are permanently placed and all cleaning- brushing twice daily and flossing- is done in your mouth as you clean your natural teeth. Because they are attached to the interior jawbone, implants don’t put stress on adjacent teeth, as dental bridges tend to do.
What Factors Can Cause a Dental Implant to Fail?
Dental implants provide a long-term, indefinite replacement for missing or damaged teeth when properly cared for, but there are several factors that can cause an implant to fail prematurely. Patients suffering from diabetes or other pre-existing medical conditions, such as cancer, have a higher risk of dental implant failure. As mentioned earlier, dental implants must be maintained through regular brushing and flossing. Poor oral hygiene can lead to periodontal (gum) disease, which is another factor that can impede the success of a dental implant.
Thinking About Dental Implants?
If you are considering dental implants, you need to see the best implant dentist possible. Dr. Mark Sowell is 1 of 40 dentists worldwide to have achieved mastership status from The Academy of General Dentistry and Accredited Membership with The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. This professional distinction requires thousands of hours of continuing education. Dr. Sowell has proven his dedication to providing the most comprehensive modern dental care while continuously advancing his knowledge and skill. He is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry, and restorative dentistry.
At Sowell Sensational Smiles, we offer comprehensive cosmetic and restorative dental solutions from veneers to denture implants and mini-implants. Dr. Mark Sowell and his dental care team deliver these advanced solutions to our friends and neighbors throughout Dallas, Plano, Frisco and the surrounding Southlake County communities. We invite you to call our expert smile care team today at (972) 382-6855 to schedule your complimentary smile design consultation, or you can request a consultation online.