How long does a dental implant last? Unveiling the lifespan!

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Are you tired of facing dental problems and want a permanent solution? Then you’ve probably crossed paths with implants as a result of your curiosity. But how long does a dental implant last? Are they truly long-term solutions? Here’s the good news: they can last for an incredibly long time. In fact, when properly maintained and cared for, dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime.

Thanks to the wonders of modern dentistry, a tooth implant’s purpose is to be durable and strong. How so? Well, implants are fused to your jawbone so that it gives the stability it needs to withstand years of use. But how long it lasts can be affected by several factors. That’s why it’s useful to be aware of those from the very beginning and be careful. 

5 factors affecting the lifespan of dental implants

The life span of your dental implant depends on several factors. From implant material choices to pre-existing health conditions, all play a crucial role in determining how long will a tooth implant last. Especially five key factors in particular collectively influence dental implant duration and success. Only if you understand and care about those, you can take the right steps in your dental implant journey. So, to shed light on “How long does a dental implant last?”, let’s deep dive into five key factors that can affect the life span of dental implants. 

Implant material

Dentists generally use various materials such as titanium or zirconia when it comes to dental implants. Titanium implants are known to be quite common especially. Whether it’s their biocompatibility or their strength, they’re pretty high on the success rate. On the other hand, zirconia implants are more popular for aesthetic reasons along with offering an alternative to titanium implants in cases of metal allergy. 

However, we can say that the long-term performance of zirconia implants is still a subject of research. But what about the titanium ones? Well, it’s a proven fact that titanium posts have much higher success rates over long periods of time. So, when you’re making a choice between them, it’ll be a good idea to consider scientific pieces of evidence as well as your specific needs and preferences. 

Bone density and gum health

Your implant relies on the surrounding bone to provide support and integration. In cases you have poor bone health or density, this can cause your implant to loosen and move around. If you don’t take care of these issues, you can get an infection. Unhealthy gums can also lead to infection and further bone loss. All these can ultimately result in implant failure in the long run. Then you’d have to keep trying to make up for this loss and regain your precious smile. That’s why how long your dental implants last really comes down to how well you and your dentist assess things right from the start.

Oral hygiene

Taking care of your oral health has a very important role in determining the average live span of dental implants. Poor oral hygiene, such as not brushing and flossing, can cause plaque and bacteria around the implant. These bacteria can lead to infections and inflammation in the surrounding gum tissue. For the long-term success of implants, regular dental cleanings and maintaining good oral hygiene are essential. If you prioritize oral health, you can significantly extend the life of dental implants and enjoy a healthy smile for years to come. 

Tobacco use

We all know tobacco use has too many harmful effects on your health, including your implant’s health. It complicates the natural healing process you need.

Nicotine and other toxic substances in tobacco products reduce blood flow in your gums, delaying healing and increasing the risk of infection. It also makes your chances of peri-implantitis higher. Quitting smoking not only improves overall oral health but also extends the life of dental implants, giving you a safer smile. 

Pre-existing health conditions

The body’s ability to heal and fight infections can determine how long do tooth implants last. If you are suffering from medical conditions like diabetes, autoimmune diseases, or untreated periodontal diseases, your body might struggle to heal properly. Besides, certain medications for different health conditions can cause dry mouth. And when you experience this, your oral health will be affected sooner or later. So, the risk of dental implant complications arises again.

Knowing how these can affect your implant can help it last longer because you can take the necessary precautions. You should inform your dentist so that they can plan the treatment according to your pre-existing conditions.

How long will a tooth implant last?

How long does a dental implant last is a topic that has taken place in many pieces of research. A study shows that the survival rate of dental implants over a period of 15 to 20 years ranges from 50% to 80%. These statistics also show that implants are actually designed to be with you for quite some time. However, don’t be confused into thinking that because these rates are high, you don’t need to take care of anything.

The factors affecting the average lifespan are obvious and they should be paid attention to. It’s quite possible to maintain your implants with enough care and attention. By combining proper care and regular dental checkups, you can maximize the potential of your dental implants. 

Tips on how to extend your dental implant lifespan

Dental implants are designed to be a long-term solution to replace your lost natural teeth, but they require proper care. By following a few simple steps, you too can significantly extend the life of your dental implants. For example, it is very important to maintain good oral hygiene. You should do this even if you don’t have any implants anyway, so it’s not that hard. Similarly, regular dental checkups are also vital. And if you want your implants to be in your mouth for a long time, you have to make good lifestyle choices. Especially try avoiding harmful habits such as smoking or alcohol consumption.

If you transform your routine with these tips, your dental implants will stay strong, functional, and beautiful for years to come. Just as they were on the very first day you get them.

Careful with these in your oral hygiene

You may be following regular steps in your oral hygiene routine. But, if you pay special attention to certain things in your routine, you can extend the life of an implant that may stay with you for a decade, perhaps another 5-10 years. So what should you pay attention to when it comes to dental hygiene?

First of all, there is no need to discuss the importance of using mouthwash in your routine. So, what you can do is avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes. Such products can cause dry mouth and irritation, which can negatively affect the health of your dental implants. Not only that, but since implants are made of various materials such as titanium, porcelain, or ceramic, alcohol-containing mouthwashes can gradually break down the protective layer or coating on the implant and wear these materials over time. So instead, you can go for an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash to ensure optimal implant care.

Being gentle but thorough in your oral hygiene practices prevents any chance of damage that could shorten the life of your dental implants. So, when brushing around your dental implants, avoid applying excessive pressure to the implant area. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and make gentle, circular motions.

By keeping these in mind and applying them, you can support the long-term success and durability of your dental implants.

Avoid consuming anything that makes stains

Paying extra attention to your consumption habits will benefit both your general dental health and implants. You should avoid consuming foods and beverages that have the potential to stain if you want them to shine and live a long life. Of course, this applies not just to implants but also to your natural tooth. They can get stained too!

Beverages such as coffee, tea, red wine, and dark sodas are notorious for this, as are highly pigmented foods such as strawberry, curry, and tomatobased sauces. So, should you stop eating them altogether? Of course not. But if you rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth shortly after eating, it’ll take care of it.

Regular dentist visits

Regular dental check-ups allow you to get personalized advice and guidance to help you take good care of your implants. Your routine checkups are an opportunity to check the health and stability of your implants. With a thorough examination, potential problems or complications can be detected early and treated quickly.

Professional dental cleanings at your visits will help remove plaque and tartar buildup that, if left unchecked, can contribute to implant failure. The more you care about cleaning and maintaining your implants, the longer you will use your implants. For this reason, make sure to schedule regular dental visits with your implant dentist, once every six months.



References: 

Raikar S, Talukdar P, Kumari S, Panda S, Oommen V, Prasad A. Factors affecting the survival rate of dental implants: A retrospective study. Journal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry. 2017;7(6):351. doi:https://doi.org/10.4103/jispcd.jispcd_380_17

Bader JD, Shugars DA. Summary review of the survival of single crowns. General Dentistry. 2009;57(1):74-81. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19146146/

Buser D, Mericske-stern R, Pierre Bernard JP, et al. Long-term evaluation of non-submerged ITI implants. Part 1: 8-year life table analysis of a prospective multi-center study with 2359 implants. Clinical Oral Implants Research. 1997;8(3):161-172. doi:https://doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0501.1997.080302.x

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