How Long do Dental Implants Last?

If you are missing one or more teeth, you are at an increased risk of losing additional teeth, developing gum disease, jawbone deterioration, and a variety of other oral and overall health issues. The good news is that you don’t have to live with your missing teeth- you do have options for replacing them.

For a long time, the primary replacement options for missing teeth were partial/complete dentures or a dental bridge. While these are somewhat effective, they also come with many disadvantages. For example, you still are at risk of jawbone deterioration because it is no longer getting the stimulation from your tooth roots to keep it healthy.

The team at Esteem Dental Implants specializes in dental implants. We have locations across the United States, so you’re sure to find one near you. Dental implants can restore your smile and your self-esteem.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are a restorative dental device that restores the look, feel, and function of your natural teeth. Traditional implants consist of three pieces: implant screw, abutment, and artificial tooth. The implant screw is inserted into the jawbone, creating a stable base and giving the jawbone the stimulation it needs. The abutment secures the artificial tooth to the implant screw. The artificial tooth may be a single crown or may be a multi-tooth replacement, depending on how many teeth you are missing.

Dental implant placement requires oral surgery. First, an incision is cut in the gums and a hole is drilled in the jawbone. The implant screw is then placed in the hole. For traditional implants, the incision will be closed, and you will be sent home to heal for a minimum of three months. If you are getting teeth in one day, the abutment and a temporary crown will be attached. You will need to return in a few months for your permanent crown.

What are the advantages of dental implants?

Dental implants offer several advantages over other tooth replacement options, including:

  • Improved aesthetics

    Conventional dentures often slip and slide around in the mouth and permanent dentures look fake. However, dental implants are inserted into the jawbone, which means they look, feel, and function like natural teeth.

  • Improved comfort

    Dentures sit on top of your gums and may cause pressure and friction sores. Since implants are inserted into the jawbone, it’s like having natural teeth. You won’t even notice that you have them.

  • Improved speech

    Dentures are often bulky and cover your soft palate, makings some things hard to pronounce. Dental implants are just like your natural teeth, so you can speak clearly.

  • Improved oral health

    When your gums are exposed, bacteria can get to your gums, increasing your risk of developing gum disease. Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone, allowing the artificial tooth to fit on the gum like a natural tooth, protecting it.

How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants are designed to be a permanent tooth replacement solution. Research has shown that, with proper care and maintenance, the implant screw should last a lifetime. The artificial tooth/teeth may need to be replaced after about 15 to 20 years, depending on your oral hygiene and lifestyle habits.

There are several factors that could cause an implant to fail:

  • Improper care/maintenance

    Proper oral hygiene habits are just as critical for your implants as your natural teeth. If plaque accumulates around the implant, you may develop gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to implant failure.

  • Bone density

    Jawbone density is critical to the success of your implants. If you do not have adequate jawbone to support the implants, they are more likely to fail. Before implants can be placed, the dentist will take x-rays to determine if your jawbone is healthy or if you need a bone graft.

  • Smoking

    Research shows that the dental implant failure rate in smokers is 11%, while the failure rate in non-smokers is around 5%. This is because smoking impacts your blood flow, which impacts healing. If your jawbone doesn’t properly heal and fuse with the implant, you are at an increased risk of implant failure.

  • Teeth grinding

    Teeth grinding and other occlusal trauma can cause damage to the implant screw or the crown- which can ultimately lead to implant failure.

  • Medical conditions

    There are certain medical conditions that increase your risk of implant failure, including uncontrolled diabetes, bleeding disorders, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and more. If you have any of these, the dentist may recommend dentures or a dental bridge.

  • Medical treatments/medications

    Medications and medical treatments such as radiation therapy, immunosuppressants, and blood thinners may increase your risk of implant failure.

  • Age

    Since older adults often have medical conditions and are taking certain medications or undergoing certain medical treatments, older adults are more likely to experience implant failure than younger patients.

  • Surgeon’s experience

    While you might save money upfront by going with a newer, inexperienced surgeon, it’s important to note that experience can make a difference. If a surgeon isn’t familiar with the process, you are at a greater risk of implant failure. On the other hand, the only way for them to get experience is to do the procedure. Therefore, if you work with an inexperienced surgeon, make sure that there is an experienced one standing by in case you have complications.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

If you are missing one or more teeth, and you think dental implants are right for you, schedule your consultation today with the team at Esteem Dental Implants near you. We can help you improve your smile and restore your confidence.

Dental Implant FAQs

Below are some of the most common questions that have been asked when discussing dental implants.

How do dental implants work?

Dental implants are a restorative dental device that replaces the entire structure of a missing tooth, from the root to the crown. This restoration looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth.

How much do dental implants cost?

On average, a single dental implant costs around $5,000. However, this depends on the surgeon’s experience and location, as well as the material the implant and crown are made of, and any additional procedures required.

Are dental implants covered by insurance?

Many dental insurance providers classify dental implants as a cosmetic procedure, which means that they will not cover it. However, there are some that consider it a restorative procedure, which means they may cover a portion. Our office staff will work with your provider to determine coverage.

How long is recovery after getting dental implants?

The discomfort will resolve within a few days. However, the process of osseointegration, which is when the jawbone heals around and fuses with the implant, typically takes several months.

Why no dairy after dental implants?

We know that dairy contains calcium, which is good for your bones. However, dairy may not be the best idea immediately after implant surgery. This is because dairy can cause the surgical site to become inflamed, which may ultimately lead to implant failure. In addition, dairy often causes nausea and vomiting, which can cause irritation and infection of the implant site, increasing your risk of implant failure.