Dental implants are an excellent option for long-term tooth replacement as they look like and only require the care given to natural teeth. But how long do dental implants last? That depends mainly upon the patient’s lifestyle and overall dental hygiene. The technology behind dental implants has become so advanced in the last ten to twenty years that failures due to implant rejection 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 are long lasting because of what they’re made of:
- Implant – The titanium or zirconia post that serves as the root for the crown is surgically placed in the jawbone of a patient.
- 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 as a cap, providing the look and function of a natural tooth.
Normally, the the crown and abutment are more likely to be damaged 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 remain healthy in the jaw bone 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 its’ replacement. However, maintaining excellent dental hygiene and careful use could extend the crown’s life beyond 15 years. The location in the patient’s mouth is also a factor in determining the life of a dental implant. Implants in the back of the mouth are active in the process of chewing which can cause them to wear out faster than implants near the front of the mouth used only for biting.
Dental Implants vs. Other Tooth Replacement Options
A dental implant is meant to be a permanent solution for missing teeth and has become the preferred tooth-replacement option. A dental implant provides the look and function of a natural tooth and can bite or chew without slipping as can happen with dentures. As implants are permanently placed and all cleaning — brushing twice daily and flossing — is done in your mouth when you clean your natural teeth. And unlike dental bridges, implants are attached to the interior jawbone and not your other teeth. Therefore, they don’t put stress on adjacent teeth like bridges can.
How Can Dental Implants Fail?
As mentioned above, dental implants can provide a long-term, indefinite replacement for missing or damaged teeth when properly cared for. However, 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. 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. Neglecting oral hygiene can lead to periodontal (gum) disease, causing implants to become unstable.
Dental Implants in Plano, TX
If you are considering dental implants, you need to see the best implant dentist possible. Dr. Mark Sowell of Sensational Smiles in Plano TX is a skilled professional with over 25 years in practice. For a free consultation with Dr. Mark Sowell about dental implants or any other dental concern, please call (972) 382-6855 or schedule online.