With a success rate of up to 98%, dental implants are a safe and predictable way to replace missing teeth. Many people are also surprised to hear that with good oral care, a dental implant can last for the rest of your lifetime. Of course, if you lost your original tooth due to dental decay, you may need to relook at your oral care routine in order to get the maximum lifespan from your dental implant. Let’s take a closer look at ‘how long does a dental implant last’.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Dental implants are currently the only permanent way to replace missing teeth. They provide you with the strongest tooth replacement that allows you to bite and chew with comfort, and smile with confidence.
Dental implants replace a missing tooth at the root, stimulating your tooth roots in your gum and preventing further gum and bone loss. They are secure and do not move around in your mouth when you speak and eat. Dental implants do not compromise the integrity of your adjacent teeth like a dental bridge.
How Long Does A Dental Implant Last: Dental Implant Care
Just like your natural teeth, dental implants need twice-daily brushing and flossing. While the implant itself can’t corrode, the surrounding gum tissue could become infected if plaque is allowed to accumulate around it.
It’s also important to continue to visit your dentist twice a year. Any problems can be spotted early on, and any issues with your dental implant can be resolved as soon as possible.
How Does Dental Implant Surgery Work?
The dental implant procedure is a series of surgeries that are performed over the course of a few months. Excluding a bone graft or tooth extraction, the rest of the procedures are done to insert each component of your dental implant.
The dental implant components
When you refer to your dental implant, technically you are referring to the artificial tooth roots that will be embedded surgically into your jaw first. The dental implant is made out of titanium and will be screwed into your jaw bone during the first stage of dental implant surgery. Over a period of a few months, the dental implant will integrate with your jaw so that it becomes part of it.
Once the dental implant has osseointegrated you will return to your dentist for another procedure: attaching the abutment or connecting piece. The abutment is also likely to be made out of titanium (or sometimes zirconia).
Titanium is very strong and durable, and it is well tolerated by the body. Dental implants made out of titanium can last for the rest of your lifetime.
Placing the abutment is also a surgical procedure, and requires you to undergo a period of healing afterwards.
Once your gums have healed, your dental implant surgery has been a success and your dentist is satisfied with your recovery, it will be time to make and place your dental crown. The dental crown is probably the weakest part of the process as it is likely to wear down the soonest. On average, dental crowns last between three and 25 years, depending on the type of material used and the location of the crown in the mouth.
So, How Long Does A Dental Implant Last?
You could say that the length of time your dental implants need before being maintained will depend on your crown, but probably it will only be the dental crown that needs to be replaced. On average you can expect:
- Dental crowns made from composite resin may last four to eight years
- Zirconia crowns may last for 10 to 15 years
- Porcelain fused to metal crowns can last five to 15 years
- Gold crowns can last for more than 20 years
It is a good idea to ask your dentist for a timeline before you choose your dental implants. Choosing a high-quality prosthesis that is expected to last as soon as possible is preferable to choosing a cheaper implant and needing to undergo the procedure a few years later.
Make sure you follow your dental practitioner’s pre and post-surgical guidelines too. There will be specific instructions for you to avoid infection and dental implant failure so it’s important to make sure you are as fit and healthy as possible before and after your dental implant surgery.
If you still have questions about dental implant surgery or how long does a dental implant last, it’s always a good idea to speak to a professional. Please contact us for an appointment at (02) 8203 8760.
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