Answering the question ‘how long do dental implants last’ is a bit like asking ‘how long is a piece of string.’ The answer is that it depends!
Now I know that answer is a bit non-committal (well, a lot, really), but there are reasons for that which we’ll go into in a short while. For now, know that if you take care of your new addition, it should last you many years.
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of what that covers, we need to get one thing straight. Asking the question ‘how long do dental implants last’ is a bit confusing. Here’s why?
Dental implants are made up of three separate components
- The titanium tooth root (the dental implant itself)
- The abutment and
- The dental crown
Collectively they are known as dental implants. Got it? Good!
So here’s the thing, once the titanium tooth root is anchored into the jawbone during dental implant surgery, it can stay in position indefinitely.
However, a lifelike dental crown typically lasts 10-15 years despite the latest materials and technology.
Now, if you’re in your golden years, this may be sufficient to last you the rest of your life. However, any younger and you will likely need a dental crown replacement at some point.
So can dental implants last a lifetime?
Technically, yes, but it depends on what you mean.
What about other factors that impact longevity after dental implant surgery?
While dental implants are billed as a hassle-free tooth replacement option, that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. It’s a bit like planting a beautiful plant and expecting it to flourish when you don’t water or prune it from time to time.
Now don’t get me wrong, dental implants aren’t needy – at least, not in a demanding boyfriend/girlfriend kind of way. Instead, they simply need regular TLC – e.g., brushing and flossing, just like your natural teeth.
Failure to do this can trigger gum disease, which can weaken the bone holding the implant in place.
Other factors include:
Issues during dental implant surgery itself
If you choose a competent dentist or oral surgeon who has placed many dental implants before, this situation should never arise. However, if you choose a rookie dentist new to the world of dental implant surgery, you may be taking a risk.
Errors can include:
- Failure to establish adequate oral health
- Failure to recognise occlusal (bite) forces concerning where the implant is situated
- Installing dental implants that are too shallow
- Not utilising CBCT for treatment planning
Now we’re not saying that this is always the case. Dental implants typically have a 96% success rate after ten years, but choosing an inexperienced dentist might lead to shorter implant longevity.
So there you have it. Although the answer to the question ‘how long do dental implants last,’ is about as clear as mud, hopefully, we’ve given you a better idea.
If you want to find out more about dental implants or any aspect of dental implant surgery, get in touch with the team at Our Dental Care on (02) 9181 3668 today. We’ll tell you the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth – Pinkey promise. 😊
Healthline – How Long Do Crowns Last?
NCBI – Long Term (10 year) Dental Implant Survival Study