What is the Lifespan of a Dental Implant?

treating tooth pain in Plano TX with Dr. SowellMost dentists agree that dental implants are an excellent choice for long-term tooth replacement as they look like natural teeth and only require the same care given to natural teeth. But how long can you expect your dental implants to last? The answer to this question is largely up to you. Your lifestyle and overall dental hygiene will help determine the lifespan of your implant.

Over the past 20 years, the technology of dental implants has advanced to the point that implant failures due to rejection or functionality issues have become very rare. However, pre-existing medical conditions, diseases, and implant misuse can cause failures and are usually the culprits when an implant does fail. With proper care and careful use, today’s dental implants can last a lifetime.

What Is A Dental Implant Made Of?

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

  1. Implant – The titanium or zirconia post that serves as the root for the crown, it is surgically implanted in the jawbone and bonds with the bone tissue.
  2. Abutment – The abutment is attached to the implant and holds the crown in place.
  3. Crown – The crown is a prosthetic tooth that is attached to the abutment, providing the look and function of a natural tooth.

In general, the crown and abutment are more susceptible to damage than the implant itself because they are situated above the gum line and actively used in biting and chewing.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

With regular brushing and flossing, the implant screw itself can last a lifetime, provided the patient receives regular dental examinations twice a year. However, due to normal wear and tear, the crown may only lasts about 10 to 15 years before it requires replacement. However, excellent dental hygiene could extend the crown’s life to 15 years or more.

Mouth location is also a factor in calculating the life of a dental implant since implants in the back of the mouth are more actively engaged in chewing, which can cause them to wear out more quickly than implants near the front of the mouth which are primarily used for biting.

Dental Implants vs. Other Tooth Replacement Options

A dental implant is intended to be a permanent solution for missing teeth and has become  the preferred tooth-replacement option among dentists and patients. A dental implant acts functions just like a natural tooth and can withstand biting or chewing without slipping as can occur with dentures. This is because, unlike dentures, implants are permanently secured and all cleaning — brushing twice daily and flossing — is done inside your mouth alongside your natural teeth. And unlike dental bridges, implants do not places stress on adjacent teeth as they are supported directly by the jawbone.

How Can Dental Implants Fail?

When they are properly cared for, your dental implants will provide a long-term, indefinite replacement for missing or damaged teeth. But there are several factors, both internal and external, 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.

As previously mentioned, dental implants must be maintained through regular brushing and flossing as well as routine dental examinations. Poor oral hygiene can lead to periodontitis (gum disease) which is another factor that can impede the success of a dental implant by weakening the gums and jawbone tissue.

Dental Implants in Plano, TX

If you are considering dental implants, you will want to see the best implant dentist possible. Dr. Mark Sowell of Sensational Smiles in Plano is a skilled professional with over 25 years in practice. For a consultation with Dr. Sowell about dental implants or any other dental concern, please call (972) 382-6855 or schedule your complimentary consultation online.