How Long Do Dental Implants Usually Last?
Dental implants are a reliable and long-term solution to tooth loss that can restore chewing abilities, prevent destructive jawbone deterioration, and provide a beautiful, natural-looking smile. But how long does this solution last, exactly? Let’s take a closer look at dental implants, why they’re installed, and how long they typically last.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a small titanium or ceramic post that is installed into the jaw to replace the missing tooth root. Once healed, the implant dentist will secure a realistic-looking prosthetic tooth (called a crown) onto the post, creating a complete smile. Dental implants are intended to be permanent, which is typically the case. The National Institutes of Health report that dental implants have a 90% to 95% success rate over the course of 10 years.
Who Needs Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a viable treatment for many adults with tooth loss—a problem that affects roughly 178 million people according to the American College of Prosthodontists. Missing teeth can damage much more than a person’s confidence; if left unaddressed, tooth loss can lead to:
- Jawbone (alveolar bone) deterioration
- Periodontal (gum) disease and gum recession
- Shifting of adjacent teeth that may impact chewing and speaking abilities
- Changes in facial shape
It’s important for adults who experience tooth loss to promptly receive some form of treatment, whether it’s dental implants, bridges, or dentures.
Do Dental Implants Last a Lifetime?
It’s very possible for the dental implant “post” that’s installed into the jawbone to last a lifetime. However, the prosthetic tooth may need to be replaced after 15 or 20 years due to normal wear and tear.
If you’re planning on receiving dental implants, it’s crucial to carefully follow your dentist’s care guidelines and maintain proper oral health practices after surgery. Many dentists recommend the following post-operative advice:
- Avoid physical activity for the first 48 hours after surgery.
- Gently brush your teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush after meals and before bedtime.
- Avoid hard, chewy, or crunchy foods and try to chew away from the surgical site.
- Stay away from “high-risk” foods after surgery, including alcohol, raw foods like sushi, leftovers older than four days, and fruits and vegetables with small seeds.
Once your dental implants have healed, continue to maintain a proper preventive dental care routine of brushing twice every day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist at least once every year for professional cleaning.
Learn More About Dental Implants
Burns Dentistry is a trusted implant dentistry provider in the Phoenix, Arizona, area. Our state-of-the-art, fully equipped locations in Sun City, Sun City West, and Litchfield Park are led by skilled dentists who have placed thousands of dental implants and boast more than 100 years of combined experience.
Schedule your consultation at Burns Dentistry today! Our friendly professionals are here to answer any question you may have and can direct you to the best dentist for your unique needs. We accept most dental insurances and offer flexible payment options.