How Long Do Dental Implants Last? Can They Last for Life?

Dr. Mykle Jacobs examines a patient's mouth at LaGrange Oral Surgery and Implant Center.

Dental bridges and dentures won’t last forever and generally need to be replaced after enough time. In comparison, dental implants do have the capability to last for the rest of your life once they are placed. However, this largely depends on a few different factors. If you’re considering dental implants but aren’t entirely confident about their longevity, you’ll want to keep reading. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon can break down exactly how long you can expect your implant to last, how they should be maintained, and how they can even save you quite a bit of money on future tooth replacements.

What is the Expected Lifespan of a Dental Implant?

The lifespan of a dental implant can vary from person to person, but more often than not, they are capable of lasting at least 30 years. However, it’s also very common for dental implants to last well beyond that. This is thanks to the integration process that occurs between the implant and the existing jawbone.

After the implant is placed, it begins a process known as osseointegration. Much like other medical implants, such as hip replacements, the titanium that makes up the root portion of the implant is biocompatible. This means that it can fuse with natural bone tissue without worry of the body rejecting it.

How Should Dental Implants Be Maintained?

Just because the restoration that goes on top of the implant cannot develop decay like natural teeth, the gum tissue surrounding the implant can still very much become infected by bacteria. This is why at-home oral care is crucial to ensuring the dental implant’s longevity.

In addition, those who receive a dental implant should not be using tobacco products of any kind, especially during the early phases of placement. Not only is tobacco proven to increase the risk of developing gum disease, but it can actually interfere with the implant’s ability to heal and integrate inside of the jaw.

How Dental Implants Help You Save on Dentistry

Dental bridges and dentures are fully capable of rebuilding your smile, but they simply can’t compare to a dental implant’s lifespan. As a result, dental bridges need to be replaced every 10 years or so and dentures need replacement every five to seven years.

When you aren’t forced to replace your teeth every five to ten years, you’re actually saving far more on your tooth replacement despite dental implants costing more upfront. It’s another one of the many reasons why dentists and oral surgeons alike recommend them as a cost-effective solution.

Of course, the only way to know for sure if dental implants are right for you is to meet with a dental professional. Schedule a consultation today to learn how the process works!

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