After doing hours of research online, you’ve decided that dental implants are simply the best way for you to replace your missing teeth. Everything you’ve read assures you that they’ll look fantastic and give you a smile you can rely on day-to-day. There’s still one big question you have though, “How long will they last?” They’re supposed to be one of the most durable solutions out there, but what does that actually mean? They’re quite an investment in your smile, so will they be worth it over time? Today, Dr. Todd Canatella is going to discuss the longevity of dental implants so you know exactly what to expect when rebuilding your smile.
A LITTLE PRIMER ON DENTAL IMPLANTS
Before we can talk about how long dental implants last, we need to distinguish the difference between parts. Dental implants are made of 3 primary components:
- A titanium post to replace the root of your teeth
- A dental prosthetic to restore your teeth above the gum line
- A connector called an abutment to hold the two together
When talking about the total lifespan of dental implants, you need to discuss the post and the different prosthetics separately.
The post itself, if properly maintained (more on this later), can easily last for 30+ years. The titanium is extremely durable, and it firmly bonds to the surrounding jawbone through a process called osseointegration. For many patients, once the implants are placed, they can easily last a lifetime.
This refers to an all-porcelain crown that is used to replace a single tooth. This kind of restoration can usually last about 10-15 years before it needs to be replaced due to normal wear and tear. This timeline can also be largely affected by the location of the crown in the mouth. The back teeth tend to sustain more pressure from chewing during their lifetime, so they typically will not last as long as teeth in the front of the mouth. However, compared to traditional crowns, implant-retained crowns tend to last much longer regardless of their location.
An implant-retained bridge can restore a row of missing teeth, and they work by attaching prosthetic teeth to an implant-retained crown. A traditional bridge can last, on average, about 7 years, while implant-retained bridges have been shown to last more than twice that time. Once again, the location of the bridge will play a big factor in this as well.
This can refer to a partial or full denture used to replace anything from a few missing teeth to an entire mouthful. While traditional dentures typically last for about 5-7 years, implant dentures can easily last for 10-15+ years with the right care. Thanks to the implants, they provide a multitude of additional benefits compared to traditional dentures, most notably that their fit will stay much more consistent over this period of time.
HOW CAN I MAKE MY IMPLANTS LAST?
One of the best things about dental implants is that you can take care of them just like your regular teeth. All you need to do is brush and floss regularly, as well as get routine checkups with your dentist. The implants themselves will never decay, but the surrounding gum/bone tissue that supports them can easily become infected if you don’t take care of your mouth, and the implants can eventually lose their hold. The restorations themselves can also start to stain without the proper care. Thankfully, with just standard oral hygiene, your implants and restorations can look like new for decades. The numbers in this article are just averages, so with more diligent home care, the posts/prosthetics can easily last for 20 years or more!
Have Any Questions?
Dental implants are, by far, the most durable tooth replacement solution available today, so no matter what kind of restoration you need, they are probably the best choice for your smile.
If you have any other questions about dental implants or how to take care of them, simply contact your implant dentist at Canatella Dental today.