Dental implants provide a more permanent tooth replacement than other options like dentures. In the spot where a tooth is missing, a dentist adds a screw to the jaw and affixes a crown that looks like a natural tooth. This provides a solid tooth replacement that stays in place and functions like the rest of the teeth. While it offers a durable solution, it's not necessarily permanent. How long could you expect dental implants to last?
Common Lifespans of Dental Implants
While dental implants can conceivably last a lifetime, on a practical level, that won’t always be the case. Nonetheless, you could reasonably expect them to last a long time. The crown part of the implant will likely need replacement after about 15 years. This part can be replaced while the screw stays in place. The length of time before a crown replacement is needed can be shorter for molars than front teeth since molars experience more wear.
Studies shed more light on dental implant longevity:
- Studies show 95 percent of dental implants last a minimum of five years and that it’s likely they will have more longevity than that, according to the European Federation of Periodontology
- A long-term study of ANKYLOS dental implants showed a cumulative survival rate of 93.3 percent after 17 years, with most failures happening within the first year
- Dental implants have lasted up to 25 years in studies, according to an article on the Colgate website reviewed by Columbia University College of Dental Medicine faculty
Factors That Impact Dental Implant Longevity
Certain factors can stand in the way of your dental implants staying in place and can create the need for replacement. In the beginning, these implants won’t work for a small portion of people, as they can fail for various reasons rather than the jaw bone growing around the screw. Nonetheless, most cases are successful in the beginning.
After you have the dental implants, some reasons for replacement can include an infection or the implant becoming loose or damaged. You could develop gum disease that can loosen the implant just as gum disease can affect your natural teeth. Smoking and a lack of proper dental hygiene habits are lifestyle factors that can affect the lifespan. Fortunately, these factors are changeable.
Also, there are different types of dental implants, which could affect how long they will last. You could have endosteal implants that go into the jawbone or subperiosteal ones that go above the jawbone under the gum. There are also alternative dental implant options. Ask your dentist about the potential lifespan of each type.
Proper Care Improves Longevity
Having regular visits with a dentist, along with consistently taking care of your teeth and mouth health, can help your implants last as long as possible. It’s feasible for the implants to last a lifetime with proper care.
Just like with natural teeth, the way you care for dental implants impacts how long they last. They have been found to last up to 25 years, yet proper dental care at home and with a dentist can help extend their life to maintain your healthy smile.