How Long Do Dental Implants Last? | 508dentist

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

A dental implant usually consists of a titanium rod that fuses with the jawbone of a patient missing one or more teeth. After the rod fuses with a patient’s jawbone, a dentist will complete the implant with a crown that mirrors a natural tooth’s appearance and functionality.

Are you considering replacing your missing tooth with a dental implant? You may have some questions before committing to this treatment method if so. For example, perhaps you’re wondering how long dental implants last.

A variety of factors can add to or detract from a dental implant’s lifespan. However, the fact that dental implants often successfully replace missing teeth for a relatively long time is among the top reasons dentists may recommend this treatment option. 

The Average Lifespan of Dental Implants

Longevity and durability are two key reasons some choose to replace their missing teeth with dental implants. According to a study from the Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, approximately 90 to 95 percent of dental implants remain in good condition after 10 years.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Dental Implants

Although it’s not uncommon for dental implants to remain functional and attractive for a decade, some implants fail earlier, while others continue to stay in good shape for much longer. Factors potentially affecting the lifespan of dental implants include:

  • The type of implant: There isn’t just one type of dental implant a dentist may offer. An endosteal implant, the most common type, has the longest lifespan. A subperiosteal implant, which a dentist might recommend if a patient lacks sufficient jawbone strength to support an endosteal implant, might not last as long.
  • Care and maintenance: A dental implant doesn’t merely look and function like a natural tooth. Dental implants also require the same degree of care that natural teeth require. To optimize a dental implant’s lifespan, a patient can practice good oral hygiene, see their dentist regularly, and avoid behaviors or activities that can potentially damage an implant (such as using their teeth to open up bags/containers).
  • Teeth grinding: Habitual teeth grinding can damage a dental implant over time. A study from the Journal of the American Dental Association also indicates that teeth grinding may be more common among those who consume alcohol and/or caffeine regularly. While you should see your dentist to learn about additional ways to guard against teeth grinding, cutting alcohol out of your diet and limiting your caffeine intake may help.
  • Smoking: Smoking is another habit which may contribute to implant failure. In general, quitting smoking will benefit your oral health.

Additional factors that may influence a dental implant’s lifespan include a patient’s age, whether they have certain illnesses, and whether they take certain medications. Because every patient is unique, your dentist might offer more tips for optimizing the lifespan of your dental implant based on your needs and condition.

Signs of Dental Implant Failure

Dental implants may last for a long time with proper care. That said, it’s always wise to be on the lookout for signs that your dental implant is beginning to fail. Potential signs of dental implant failure include:

  • A feeling that the implant is loose or shifting in position
  • Pain or discomfort in the area of the implant (which may be more noticeable when you chew)
  • Redness or swelling around the implant
  • Gums receding near the implant

Schedule an appointment with your dentist right away if you notice any of these issues. The sooner your dentist diagnoses the problem, the sooner they can correct it.

A Dental Implant Can Offer Long-Lasting Smile Restoration

Longevity is just one of the many benefits a dental implant can offer. Successful dental implants also:

  • Improve a patient’s smile
  • Guard against bone loss
  • Facilitate easier chewing and speaking
  • Don’t require special care 

These are all good reasons to speak with your dentist about replacing a missing tooth with an implant. They can answer additional questions you may have and determine whether you’re a good candidate for this treatment option.

Learn More About Dental Implants

At 508dentist, with offices in Swansea, MA and North Attleborough, MA, we’d be glad to discuss dental implants with you. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at 508-336-8478.