Dental implants are one of the most effective, long-lasting ways to replace missing or damaged teeth. But how long dental implants last is one reason why they’re so popular. The average lifespan of an implant can vary, depending on several factors like your overall health, oral hygiene habits, and what type of implant you choose (traditional or mini). Understanding the specifics of how long dental implants last can help you to make an informed decision about your long term oral health and well-being in the decades ahead.
Average Lifespan of Dental Implants
With proper care and maintenance on your part—and by choosing a great, experienced implant provider—your dental implants can last a lifetime. There’s no limit to how long dental implants can last. If properly cared for, there’s almost no reason why an implant shouldn’t continue to be useful decades from now. The key is to make sure you’re doing everything you need to keep the gums and bone around them healthy, to hold them into place.
Of course, modern dental implants haven’t been around for more than a couple of decades. So, to say they can last another 80 or 90 years is, truthfully, a bit hypothetical. But we can tell by the way they integrate with a person’s body and the nature of hypoallergenic materials used for other purposes–such as joint replacements–that your dental implants can, by nature, last the rest of your life.
Since physicians and surgeons use some of the same materials dental implants are used for, we know they can integrate for a person’s entire lifespan. They’re some of the safest and most durable items to help repair bones and reinforce natural human anatomy. That’s one reason why we say that dental implants are stronger than natural teeth; they can withstand tons of pressure that would otherwise break a single tooth.
How Long Dental Implants Last vs. Other Treatments
While all tooth replacements (dentures, bridges, etc.) have limited lifespans, implants can easily outlast them—provided you keep up with regular dental visits and care. But is it worth it when there may be seemingly more affordable alternatives, such as bridges, partials, or dentures?
Although any restoration can last several years, you’ll typically see a replacement rate somewhere in the vicinity of 5-10 years for things like dentures or a dental bridge. The better you care for them (and your mouth) the longer they can potentially last you. But they aren’t permanent.
Bridges, for example, rely on healthy teeth to support them. If one of those teeth gets a cavity or develops gum disease around it, the entire bridge will fail and need to be replaced. And every time you re-prep the teeth for a new bridge, it weakens them further. You might make it through two bridges, but there might not be a very good chance that you’ll be able to get a third.
Dentures can wear out too. Neither option comes close to competing with the long-term success of dental implants.
What is the Success Rate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants have the highest success rate of any tooth replacement treatment. With good home care, they are at or just above about a 98% success rate. And yes, that’s higher than everyday dental procedures like fillings, crowns, or even root canal treatment. The failure rate is extremely low, especially when you work with a specialist like one of our DFW dental implant providers or similar board-certified professional.
The key to getting the most out of how long implants last is to take good care of them: Brush and floss regularly, visit your dentist for checkups on a regular basis, and don’t eat anything too hard or sticky. And don’t use your new teeth as tools! The bottom line is, when you take good care of your dental implants, they can last for many years—even decades—or a lifetime!
Life of Dentures Compared to Implants
New materials and better designs are making removable prosthetics like dentures and partials more durable than ever before. But they still didn’t compare to dental implants. A typical denture might last 10 years if you’re lucky. However, it’s extremely likely that the materials will wear out before then and the shape of your mouth will change making the denture uncomfortable to wear.
You see, anytime you lose teeth and wear a denture, the gum and bone tissue underneath your prosthesis slowly resorbs or shrinks back. This shortens your bone ridge and causes your denture to feel loose or rub sores on your gums.
On the other hand, dental implants actually promote healthy bone tissue, preserving the shape of your jaws and facial profile. With all of that healthy bone around them, there’s a lower risk of your restorations needing to be replaced anytime soon.
To put it bluntly, you might go through five dentures or more compared to one set of dental implants. If you’re relining or replacing your dentures every five years, it would probably be more than that!
Long-Term Dental Implant Maintenance
How can you make sure you’re doing everything possible to keep your dental implants for life? By following these tips you can extend how long dental implants last.
Keep your gums healthy:
Infected gums that are swollen or bleed can develop gum disease—or in this case, peri-implantitis—causing your dental implants to fail because of lack of physical support.
Use a water flosser every day:
Water flossers reach underneath your implant restorations and down under the gumlines, especially in hard-to-floss spaces.
Clean your implants and other teeth with an electric toothbrush:
Electric toothbrushes tend to be more efficient when it comes to removing plaque and preventing tartar buildup, which can lead to peri-implantitis.
Schedule regular checkups:
Just like your natural teeth, dental implants need to be professionally cleaned and examined at least twice a year.
Yes, Dental Implants Can Last a Lifetime
Contact ARCHPOINT today to learn more about our state-of-the-art dental implant restorations and find out how they can change your lifestyle for the better. Reserve your consultation now.