April 13, 2022

There are several reasons why you may want dental implants, but how long do dental implants last? This guide covers the average lifespan.

how long do dental implants last

Approximately 120 million people in the United States today are missing at least 1 tooth, while more than 36 million do not have any teeth remaining. If you are missing 1 or more teeth, it may be affecting your confidence and self-esteem. Missing teeth may also affect the facial shape, bite alignment, and aesthetics of a smile.

Many people who are missing teeth opt for dental implants, which are seen as an excellent long-term solution. If you are considering undergoing this dental procedure, it’s worth asking “How long do dental implants last?”

In this blog post, we will answer that question. We will also highlight the two main types of dental implants, their benefits, and the reasons behind why some dental implants fail. Let’s get started.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

The first thing to point out is that dental implants are designed to be a permanent fixture in a patient’s mouth. Through the process of osseointegration, which we will look at below, dental implants become bonded with the surrounding bone tissue. This means the implant has fused with the surrounding bone.

Therefore, the implant screw itself is designed to last a lifetime. The crown attached to the implant, on the other hand, may need replacement as a result of wear and tear. Crowns typically require replacing after 15 to 20 years in a majority of cases.

Proper oral hygiene and regular dental checkups are important to maintain the crown. Furthermore, the lifespan of a crown is usually dictated by its location within the mouth. Crowns located in the rear of the mouth are used more when chewing foods, which means that they are more likely to succumb to wear and tear sooner than crowns in the front of the mouth.

What Are the Different Types of Implants?

The 2 common types of dental implants are endosteal and subperiosteal. Let’s take a look at each of them here.

Endosteal Implants

Endosteal is the most common type of dental implant. This implant, which is typically made of titanium or ceramic and resembles small screws, is placed in the jawbone. The screws then protrude through the gum and hold the replacement tooth in its correct position.

Not every patient will be eligible for an endosteal implant procedure. Eligible patients should pass the below-listed criteria:

  • Healthy gum tissue
  • Good overall oral health
  • Fully grown jawbone
  • Sufficient bone in the jaw

The process of fitting an endosteal implant involves a number of different stages over the course of several months. These stages include:

  • Placing the implant
  • Osseointegration stage
  • Abutment placement stage
  • Placement of the new tooth/teeth

The osseointegration stage, when the jawbone grows into the implant, can take between 2 and 6 months.

Subperiosteal Implants

As noted above, not every patient will be eligible for endosteal implants. In that case, when it has been that there is not sufficient healthy jawbone, another option is a subperiosteal implant.

This type of implant is placed under the gums and on top of the jawbone. It does not provide the same level of stability as an endosteal implant although the treatment time is shorter.

There are a number of steps involved in placing a subperiosteal implant. These include taking a jawbone impression, which is performed to ensure that the implant will fit properly once placed.

Why Do Some Implants Fail?

We have noted above that while implants are a permanent fixture in the mouth, in some instances the dental implant will fail. Here, we will highlight some of the common reasons why implant failure occurs.

First, insufficient care and maintenance can lead to implant failure. Peri-implant disease can occur when the area around the implant is affected by plaque buildup. If the disease is left untreated, the condition may progress to peri-implantitis and ultimately to implant failure.

Therefore, proper oral hygiene is important. This involves brushing twice daily, flossing daily, scheduling regular dental checkups, and limiting sugary foods. There is also evidence that smoking has a major impact on the success rate of a dental implant.

In the case of an endosteal implant, bone loss over time can result in the destabilization of the implant. The causes of this can include osteoporosis, peri-implant disease, and other medical conditions impacting bone health. A weakened immune system, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and bleeding disorders are all associated with dental implant failure.

Teeth grinding may also affect the success of dental implants. During the osseointegration stage, grinding motions can result in tiny movements of the implant and cause it to fracture.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

There are many benefits to dental implants, whether you are missing 1 or several teeth. These benefits include:

  • Improved confidence and self-esteem
  • Improved speech
  • Easier eating
  • Improved appearance
  • Improved oral health
  • Improved comfort

As we have noted above, dental implants are also highly durable and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. If you have missing teeth, dental implants are an excellent permanent solution.

Discover the Benefits of Dental Implants for Yourself

So, how long do dental implants last? The bottom line is that dental implants can last a lifetime, while the attached crowns last for an average of 15 to 20 years before they need to be replaced.

If you are interested in learning more about dental implants in Suwanee, Georgia, your premier choice is Paul Korb, DMD and Craig Taylor, DMD. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. Contact our experienced and friendly team today and request a consultation. We look forward to speaking with you about your oral health goals.