Dental implants are an investment in both time and money, so most patients want to know how long they can expect their restorations to last before they move forward with the procedure. If you’re wondering how long dental implants last, the answer is complicated; an implant-based restoration has a few different parts, and each has its own lifespan.
Understanding Dental Implants
An implant-based restoration usually includes a dental implant, a restoration, and a piece called an abutment that connects the two. (Some types of dental implants, such as mini dental implants and same-day dental implants, do not require abutments.)
The restoration replaces the visible portion of one or more missing teeth. This restoration can be a dental crown, a dental bridge, or a denture that is either fixed or removable. The dental implant is the fixture that is inserted into the jawbone to support the restoration; one dental implant is used to support a single crown, two dental implants are typically needed for bridges, and multiple implants are required for a denture.
How Long Will Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants are surgically implanted into the jaw so they can fuse with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. This makes your restoration as stable as a natural tooth, and it also means that your dental implant is likely to last a lifetime and never need replacement.
There are exceptions to this, though. While the majority of dental implant fixtures will last a lifetime, not all of them do. Patients who do not follow aftercare instructions, smoke, have poor oral 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. It is rare for a dental implant to fail outside of these circumstances.
How Long Do Implant-Supported Restorations Last?
Most dental implant-supported restorations will need to be replaced at some point, with the majority lasting five to 10 years on average. However, if you practice good oral hygiene habits to keep your gums and remaining teeth healthy and visit your dentist every six months for a comprehensive oral evaluation and dental cleaning, your restorations can last longer. Although restorations cannot get cavities, they must be brushed and flossed to remove the bacteria that causes gum disease, which is one of the most common causes of implant failure.
Grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw, chewing on ice, biting your nails, or using your teeth to open packages can all damage your restorations and reduce their lifespan. Choosing the right material for your crown, bridge, or denture is also important. If you invest in a high-quality restoration, it will not only look and feel natural, but it will have the potential to last for decades.
Learn More About Dental Implants
Are you considering dental implants to replace one or more missing teeth? If you’d like to learn more about the dental implant process and which option is right for you, contact us today at 505-292-1051 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.