How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are a long-lasting tooth replacement treatment, but when you’re investing this much money, how long is long-lasting?
The actual dental implant itself, the titanium screw surgically placed at the site of the missing tooth root, is made from biocompatible titanium. This means that your implant has a higher chance of lasting for life as it’s a biocompatible material, however some people may still reject this material—it also means the healing time is faster than it used to be.
Having said that, the time it takes for your jaw bone to fuse with the dental implant can take up 6 months. The healing time depends on a number of factors. Four of those factors are:
- Where the implant is placed: it takes longer for an implant in the upper jaw to heal
- Your oral health
- Your body’s natural ability to heal
- If you smoke: smoking slows down your body’s ability to heal
Why dental implants are worth investing your time
While treatment time can take up to 6 months there is great benefit to your oral health. Missing teeth can create a domino effect of oral health problems. A lost tooth affects the health of your jaw which can—over time—affect your remaining teeth as well as the alignment of your bite. A misaligned bite can cause headaches, neck and shoulder pain.
On top of that, when you lose a tooth the teeth on either side of the gap start to shift in an attempt to close the gap. Crooked teeth can result in a series of other health problems.
By replacing a missing tooth you aren’t just replacing a gap in your smile, you are looking after your oral health now and into the future.
So, how long do dental implants last?
The short answer is: for a life time.
The long answer is: while the dental implant itself can last a life time there are mitigating circumstances which have been known to affect the lifespan of a dental implant.
One factor which has been known to adversely affect dental implants is perioimplantitis. Essentially this is gum disease for dental implants. And like gum disease, perioimplantitis is when, due to infection, there is a loss of jawbone structure supporting the dental implant.
Perioimplantitis and dental implants
Perioimplantitis is also the leading cause of dental implant failure (just as gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss), which is why it is so important to look after your oral health after treatment. The most efficient way to do this is to have a check-up ever six months and inform your dentist you’ve had implant treatment. They will be able to take the appropriate x-rays to check the health of your dental implant.
The life of a dental implant
While the dental implant may last a lifetime, the dental prosthetic attached to the implant (a dental crown, bridge or denture) does have a lifespan. Typically, if you take good care of your dental prosthetic it can last up to 15 years before needing to be replaced.
If you would like to know more how long dental implants last, or to book an appointment at Brisbane Dental Implant Group, please contact us today.