Most people want to know how long dental implants last before committing to the procedure. This is understandable considering the financial and time investment required for getting dental implants. If you're wondering what the average lifespan is for dental implants, the answer is a little more complicated than you might expect because each component of an implant-based restoration has its own lifespan.
Understanding Dental Implants
Most implant-based restorations have three parts: the dental implant itself, the restoration that is attached to it, and an abutment piece that connects the implant and restoration. (Some types of dental implants, such as mini dental implants and same-day dental implants, do not require abutments.)
The restoration is the piece that replaces the visible portion of one or more missing teeth. A dental crown, a dental bridge, or a fixed or removable denture can be used for this restoration. A single dental implant can support a single crown, two dental implants are required for bridges, and multiple implants are needed to support dentures.
How Long Will Dental Implants Last?
Both traditional dental implants and mini dental implants are surgically implanted into the jawbone and fuse with it to provide stable support for a restoration. Osseointegration is the name of the process of an implant and bone fusing together; thanks to osseointegration, your dental implant will be as stable as a natural tooth, which means it will most likely last a lifetime and never need to be replaced.
There are, however, exceptions to this—while the majority of dental implants and mini dental implant fixtures will last a lifetime, no dental surgery, including dental implants, has a 100 percent success rate. Patients who do not follow aftercare instructions, use tobacco products, have poor dental hygiene habits, or do not see the dentist on a regular basis for preventive care and follow-up appointments are more likely to experience implant failure. A dental implant is unlikely to fail outside of these circumstances.
How Long Do Implant-Supported Restorations Last?
Implant-supported restorations will usually need to be replaced at some point, with most lasting five to 10 years on average. Maintaining proper oral hygiene habits to keep your gums and remaining natural teeth healthy, as well as visiting your dentist every six months for a comprehensive oral evaluation and dental cleaning, will help your restorations last longer. Despite the fact that restorations cannot get cavities, they must be brushed and flossed to remove the bacteria that causes gum disease, which is one of the primary causes of implant failure.
Grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw, chewing on ice, biting your nails, or opening packages using your teeth can all cause damage to your restorations and shorten their lifespan. Choosing the proper material for your crown, bridge, or denture is also important. With good care and maintenance, a high-quality restoration will not only look and feel natural, but it will also last for many years.
Learn More About Dental Implants and Mini Dental Implants
Are you considering dental implants to replace one or more missing teeth? Contact us at 817-481-6888 to learn more or schedule an appointment for a consultation.