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How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

August 18, 2021
mature woman in dental chair smiles at hand mirror

Are you considering getting one or more dental implants? A dental implant can replace a single tooth or act as an anchor for a bridge or dentures. Dental implants are the most advanced technology in tooth replacement. More and more patients are choosing them over other tooth replacement options because of the many benefits. 

One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is their longevity. Wondering how long dental implants last? Here’s what you can expect. 

Average Lifespan of a Dental Implant

For the average patient, a dental implant is expected to last for at least 20-30 years. But for many patients they can last a lifetime. Once the implant is securely fused with the jaw bone, it can stay in place forever.  

Does the Crown Last as Long as the Implant Root? 

Unfortunately no. The average life expectancy of a crown is 15 years. Because the crown bears the brunt of the chewing force when you eat, it will eventually wear down or succumb to damage and need to be replaced. 

Dental Implant Technology

A dental implant is considered to be the most advanced tooth replacement technology. It consists of a titanium post with threads like a screw. The post is surgically implanted in the jaw bone beneath the gum tissue. Titanium is a biocompatible material that fuses with the bone to form a secure bond that can withstand the bite force of the jaw. 

Once the implant root has sufficiently fused with the jaw bone, the abutment and crown can be attached. The abutment is a post attached to the implant that extends above the gum line. The crown is attached to the abutment, and the process is complete. If you are receiving a bridge or implant supported dentures, those are attached to the implant root in a similar fashion. 

What Can Cause a Dental Implant to Fail? 

Dental implant failure occurs in somewhere between 5% and 10% of cases. Although it is rare, it can happen. There are a few possible causes for dental implant failure:

  • Insufficient bone structure. If the jaw bone is not wide enough or thick enough to support an implant, it may fail to bond securely.  
  • Failure to fuse with the bone. In some cases the implant simply does not fuse with the jaw bone adequately. This can happen for any number of reasons, such as poor bone health or infection. 
  • Incorrect placement. A dental implant must be placed at the correct angle and depth. Many dentists use guided placement technology to ensure the implant is placed correctly. 

How to Increase the Lifespan of Your Dental Implant

There are steps you can take to help your dental implant last as long as possible. The first few days, weeks, and months are the most important time as the implant root fuses with the bone. Here are some tips:

  • Follow your dentist’s instructions. The most important thing you can do to ensure the success of your dental implant is to follow your dentist's instructions as closely as possible. You’ll most likely need to take extra care in the first few days after your implant placement. If you have any questions, contact your dentist rather than put your dental implant at risk. 
  • Treat the area with care. You may be advised to avoid flossing, brushing, and chewing in the location of your implant during the healing period. Be careful until your dentist tells you otherwise. 
  • Practice good oral hygiene. Take good care of your teeth in general. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and keep your mouth clean. Avoiding a buildup of plaque and bacteria will help you avoid infection. 
  • Avoid smoking. It is always best to avoid smoking for your dental and overall health. But smoking has been specifically linked to dental implant failure.

Increase Your Chances of Success with The Dental Implant Center of Rockville

As stated above, the accurate placement of your dental implant is one of the most important factors in the success and longevity of your implant. Dr. Sreenivasan of the Dental Implant Center of Rockville has the experience and technology necessary to properly place your dental implant so that it will last as long as possible. 

Call 301-294-8700 today to schedule a consultation or request an appointment. We look forward to providing you with the tooth replacement option that lasts a lifetime.

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Dental Implant Center of Rockville OMFS-MD, P.A.
77 South Washington Street, Suite 205
Rockville, MD 20850
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