Dental implants are the gold standard tooth replacement that can deliver the most natural-looking restorations. Not only does an implant-based restoration look exactly like a natural tooth, but it feels and functions like one. This is why more and more patients opt for dental implants over other alternatives.
When it comes to treatment with dental implants, one of the most common questions we get asked at Carindale Family Dentist is, “do dental implants last forever?” Read along as we answer this question and everything you need to know about dental implants.
Firstly, what are dental implants?
Before diving into the longevity of dental implants, it pays to know what dental implants are and how they work. So let’s take a closer look.
In essence, a dental implant is composed of 3 parts:
- The titanium screw – Acts as the tooth root and is surgically embedded into the jawbone to create a permanent, stable, and strong foundation
- The abutment – Serves as the link between the implant and the artificial tooth attachment
- The artificial tooth – Can be a bridge, crown, or denture and is the visible part of the implant placed over the implant screw to complete your smile.
In summary, the dental implant procedure starts with the surgical placement of the titanium post. Then, an abutment is screwed over a healed implant site. And to complete the process, a customised artificial tooth (the visible part of the implant) is designed and attached.
So Do Dental Implants Last Forever?
When the implant screw is placed in your bone, it will stimulate bone cells to grow around it. This is a process called osseointegration and is what creates a solid and stable platform in the mouth. The titanium post is designed to last for many years, possibly even a lifetime.
However, you should be aware that the artificial tooth attachment may need replacing as it is subject to normal wear and tear. On average, a good-quality dental crown can last up to 10 – 15 years. So while the dental implant itself may last forever, the restorations crown may not.
What Impacts the Longevity of Dental Implants?
These expected estimations are as good as dental implants can get. But this is not the same for everyone. While the dental implant treatment has an impressive 95% success rate, multiple factors may compromise the lifespan of both the implant post and the artificial tooth, including:
Quality of the jawbone
When you get a consultation at your local dental clinic for dental implants, the most crucial factor to consider is the health of your jawbone. It must be strong, dense, and high enough to support an implant surgery.
Age during implant treatment
The older you are during dental implant treatment, the more brittle your bone is. There is also an expected slow implant recovery. These are factors that can also impact the long-term success of dental implants.
Oral and general health conditions
Your overall health is also assessed when you go for a dental consultation. Generally, when it comes to dental implants, your oral health must be in excellent condition. Uncontrolled systemic diseases are not ideal for implant treatment, resulting in slow healing and possible complications.
The expertise of the dental surgeon
Another factor that can affect dental implants’ longevity is the attending surgeon’s skill and knowledge. At Carindale Family Dentist, you can trust our dentists to perform dental implant surgery with pinpoint accuracy and precision, ensuring that your implants will serve you well for a long time.
Excellent recovery period
After dental implant surgery comes the healing period. Healing takes roughly 3 to 5 months for your bone to fuse with your implant. During this time, be mindful of your dentist’s post-surgical instructions to facilitate a fast and favourable recovery.
Diet and lifestyle choices
Brittle and chewy foods make your teeth work harder. This can cause heavy forces directed against the tooth. If you are still in the early stages of recovery, partake in a soft diet to allow the surgical site to heal naturally. Smoking should also be avoided as this puts you at a higher risk for infection and dental implant failure.
Wear and tear on the teeth
So do dental implants last forever in those with habitual behaviours? Patients who grind or clench their teeth will find that they need their artificial teeth replaced faster than those who don’t. With the help of a dentist that offers consultation, a mouthguard can be prescribed and worn at night to prevent habitual grinding.
Implant Care and Maintenance
Now that we know the answer to “do dental implants last forever?” the next step is to find the best ways to keep them in excellent condition for as long as possible.
Treating your dental implants like natural teeth is the best way to care for them. Practice a good oral hygiene routine by properly brushing and flossing your teeth. Then, use an anti-bacterial mouthwash to keep your teeth and gums in excellent health.
Also, schedule regular dental visits every six months for check-ups and professional teeth cleaning. Your dentist can check for budding problems, and they can provide early intervention to prevent further complications.
Are you looking for an implant dentist?
Our dental implant team at Carindale Family Dentist is committed to helping you achieve a confident and healthy smile. Book an appointment for your initial consultation to start your implant dentistry journey!
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
ScienceDirect – Osseointegration
Healthline – Are Dental Implants Permanent?
Healthline – How Long Can You Expect a Dental Crown to Last?
PubMed Central – Factors Affecting the Survival Rate of Dental Implants: A Retrospective Study
Medline Plus – Aging changes in the bones
PubMed – Dental implants in patients affected by systemic diseases
PubMed Central – Smoking and dental implants