For long term replacement of missing and damaged teeth, dental implants are an excellent choice as they closely resemble natural teeth and need only the same care given to natural teeth. Best of all, dental implants are extremely durable and long lasting. But how long do dental implants last? The answer to this question depends greatly on the patient’s lifestyle and overall dental hygiene. The technology of dental implants has advanced significantly over the last ten to twenty years so that implant failures due to rejection or functionality issues have become very rare. Pre-existing medical conditions, diseases, and improper use of implants are the most common culprits when an implant does fail.
What Is A Dental Implant Made Of?
Implants last so long because of what they’re made of:
- Implant – The titanium or zirconia post that is surgically placed in the jawbone of a patient and serves as a root for the crown is resistant to natural decay.
- Abutment – The abutment is fastened to the implant and holds the crown in place.
- Crown – The crown is a ceramic false tooth that is attached to the abutment and provides the look, feel and function of a natural tooth.
In general, the crown and abutment are more prone to damage than the implant itself because they are exposed and actively used in biting and chewing.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
With regular brushing and flossing, the implant screw itself can last a lifetime, assuming the patient receives regular dental check-ups twice a year. The crown, however, usually only lasts about 10 to 15 years before normal wear and tear may require a replacement. However, conscientious dental hygiene and routine dental examinations could extend the life of the crown beyond 15 years. Mouth location is also a factor in the figuring the longevity of a dental implant. Implants in the back of the mouth are used more actively in chewing, which can cause them to wear out more quickly than implants near the front of the mouth.
Dental Implants vs. Other Tooth Replacement Options
A dental implant is designed to be a permanent solution for missing teeth and has become the preferred tooth-replacement option for dentists and most patients. A dental implant acts as a natural tooth and can be used for biting or chewing without fear of slippage as can happen with dentures. And unlike dentures, implants are permanently placed which means all cleaning — brushing twice daily and flossing alongside your natural teeth– is done in your mouth with no need for messy adhesives to reattach them. Also, as they are attached to the interior jawbone and not your adjacent teeth, implants don’t place additional stress and wear on your natural teeth, as dental bridges tend to do.
How Can Dental Implants Fail?
Dental implants provide a long-term, indefinite replacement for missing or damaged teeth when properly cared for, but there are issues that can increase the risk of an implant failing prematurely. Patients suffering from diabetes or other pre-existing medical conditions, such as cancer, have a higher risk of dental implant failure. As mentioned earlier, dental implants must be maintained through regular brushing and flossing. Poor oral hygiene can lead to periodontal (gum) disease, which is another factor that can hinder the success of a dental implant.
Dental Implants in Virginia Beach, VA
If you are considering dental implants, you need to see the best implant dentist possible. Dr. Cappy Sinclair of Coastal Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry in Virginia Beach, VA is a skilled professional with X years in practice. For a consultation with Dr. Sinclair about dental implants or any other dental concern, call (757) 453-7657 for an appointment at our Laskin Road office, call (757) 216-9914 for an appointment at our Lynnhaven office or schedule a consultation online today