It’s commonly thrown out there that dental implants are considered to be “permanent” solutions for replacing missing or damaged teeth but is that really true? You’re probably interested in knowing how long your dental implants will really last and how they compare to the lifetime of a similar alternative, like dentures.
Image Dental seeks to help patients feel confident going into their dental implant surgery by giving them realistic expectations of how long their implants will last. It’s also important to know how to even make your dental implants last longer.
To be honest, there’s no exact cutoff date for when your dental implants will “expire” and need replacement. Each patient is unique to their circumstances and certain influential factors that will impact the life expectancy of their dental implant.
Strober Dental goes over some of these factors in the following article. You’ll notice that several of these factors involve general maintenance of your health through regular dentist appointments and routine care but other factors are out of your control.
How long do dental implants last?
Your dentist: Studies have shown that your choice of dentist can make a big difference in the success rate for your dental implants. Experienced dentists have implant failure rates 1/10th or less than those of dentists who are learning to place implants. Specialists also reduce risk of dental implant failure.
Your bite: Excess bite force can contribute both to wear on the dental implant and the bone that supports it. This may contribute to early dental implant failure.
Your health: The leading cause of dental implant failure is the same as the leading cause of tooth loss: gum disease. If you have gum disease, you are more likely to lose your dental implants. Illnesses that affect bone health, such as diabetes and osteoporosis, can also contribute to early dental implant failure. Good candidates for dental implants tend to have better success and longer-lasting implants.
Your hygiene: Taking care of your dental implants is important to keeping them for life, just as with natural teeth. If you are brushing, flossing, and making regular dental checkups, your implants are more likely to last.
Your luck: There are many factors that contribute to dental implant success or failure. Because we don’t yet understand them all, we have to attribute some failures to bad luck.
As we come to understand dental implants better, we will be better able to explain these failures and recommend how to prevent them.
So after considering these key factors that influence the lifespan of a dental implant, you can consider the average life expectancy of a dental implant. Some patients can continue to use their implant for the rest of their life but if you get your implant when you are younger, it might only last about 25 more years or so depending on how you care for the implant.
Here’s what Smile Gallery Dental has to say about how long dental implants really last:
Dental implants over 40 years old – really?
Although we can’t give you a definitive guarantee that your dental implant will last that long, provided they’re properly cared for, they should last for 20 years and quite possibly a lot longer. Here’s a fact – the current world record for the life of a dental implant stands at 49 years and is held by Swedish man, Sven Johansson, who is now 91 and has had his tooth implants since he was 42.
The reality is that each implant case is different and if you’re wondering can dental implants last forever, then it depends on many factors.
Now that it’s apparent that your quality of care for your dental implant heavily impacts its performance over time and the life expectancy of your implant, let’s talk about how you can make your dental implant last longer. Read below to see what The Silberg Center For Dental Science recommends for dental implant care and maintenance.
How do I take care of my dental implants?
The daily care of dental implants is very similar to the care of natural teeth. Restored dental implants should be kept clean and plaque free twice a day using a brush and floss. Cleaning is especially important after meals. This is accomplished by gently brushing, giving special attention to all sides of the implant.
Oral hygiene aids may include:
- Small, soft, manual toothbrush or an electric brush.
- Low-abrasive, tartar-control toothpaste.
- Dental floss for cleaning around the abutments.
In consideration of all the factors that influence your dental implant’s lifespan, be sure to take the proper steps in caring for them over the years. Routine checkups are a vital part of helping your implants last longer by helping your dentist to ensure they are being cared for according to recommendations.