Strictly speaking, dental implants can last for the rest of your lifetime. The metal screws or anchors that are embedded surgically into your jaw integrate with the jawbone and, because of their biocompatibility, generally do not malfunction once osseointegration has taken place. However, it is possible for a dental implant to fail, and the dental crown that the implant is attached to will need to be replaced at some point. In this article we are going to answer the question ‘how long do dental implants last’ and give you some advice on dental implant failure.

 

What Lifespan Can You Expect From Dental Implants?

Because of the bonding that takes place with your jawbone, dental implants are considered to be permanent. During the process of osseointegration, bone grows around the dental implant and integrates it, making it a strong and stable foundation for an artificial tooth. 

 

 

If, however, osseointegration does not take place, it is possible for your dental implant to fail. Implant failure occurs most commonly if osseointegration does not take place or something goes wrong during your healing process. Some of the factors that can influence implant failure include:

 

Smoking

A dentist that offers consultation is not likely to perform a dental implant procedure on a smoker, because it is statistically more likely to fail. Implant failure only occurs in about 5% of nonsmokers, however, this increases to 11% in people who smoke.

 

A jawbone that is too soft or too thin

You need a certain amount of jawbone to be able to anchor a dental implant. If your jaw isn’t thick enough or if it is too soft, your implant could fail. This could be because you lost your tooth some time ago and have experienced deterioration of the jaw. 

If you meet all the other criteria for implants but do not have enough jaw, your dentist is likely to recommend a bone graft to encourage new bone to grow. After three to four months, if the graft was successful, you should be able to proceed with dental implant surgery.

 

Trauma and teeth grinding

Grinding your teeth at night or trauma to your mouth could destabilise your implant so it doesn’t last as long. 

 

The skill level of your dental practitioner

Poor planning, incorrect implant placement, or overloading dental implants can all contribute to implant failure. Working with a skilled and experienced dental practitioner who does the relevant planning is a really important part of the success of your implants. If you are in doubt, ask your dental practitioner what his patient implant success rate is and get a second opinion where possible. 

 

Your age

Older people are at greater risk of implant failure because healing takes longer in an older body.

 

Immune deficiency diseases

If you have a disease that compromises your immunity, you will be more vulnerable to infection and your healing process can take a very long time. If you have recently undergone an organ transplant and have been taking immuno-suppressing medication, your dental practitioner may recommend waiting until your treatment is complete or considering a different treatment. However, if you are able to stabilise your condition, you may be able to support a tooth implant.

 

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

factors affecting longevity dental implant eppingDental implants are usually made from zirconia or titanium, which are well tolerated by the body and unlikely to deteriorate, especially once they are part of your jaw. The dental crown that they secure, however, is subject to wear and tear over time.

Between 50 and 80% of dental crowns will need to be replaced in 15 to 20 years, depending on the material they are made out of. 95% of dental crowns should last for at least five years. But the small metal posts that are surgically embedded should last for the rest of your lifetime.

 

What Can Help Your Implant Last For Longer?

Even though the metal post and dental crown are not susceptible to decay, the tooth structures around them are. This means that you must practice a high level of oral hygiene in order to protect your gums and natural teeth and to ensure your implants last as long as possible.

 

Excellent dental hygiene

Brushing and flossing are even more important if you have lost a tooth to decay. It’s essential to floss around your implants just like your natural teeth. A build-up of plaque can lead to swelling and infection around your implant, leading to a condition called peri-implantitis, which can put your implant at risk. It can also cause gum disease, which can compromise your remaining natural teeth and the soft tissue supporting your implant.

Visiting your dentist twice a year to assist with plaque control should be part of your dental hygiene routine once you have implants.

 

Are Dental Implants The Right Replacement Treatment For You?

Not everyone is eligible for implants, however, if you get a consultation at your local dental clinic, your dentist will weigh up your risk factors and tell you how long you can expect it to last.

For more info on how long do dental implants last, or to book a dental consultation near you, please give us a call: (03) 9626 9581.

 

 

 

 

References

Are Dental Implants Permanent?
https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/how-long-do-dental-implants-last

Risks and complications associated with dental implant failure: Critical update
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7518499/

Summary review of the survival of single crowns
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19146146/

 

 

 

 

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