How Long Dental Implants Last (And How To Care For Them)

If you want to know more about how long dental implants can last and the best ways to care for them, you’ve come to the right place!

There are a variety of reasons why you might be interested in dental implants. If you find that you’re missing teeth due to gum disease, cavities, or even an accident, you have options when it comes to replacing your teeth. Chances are you’ve heard about dentures, and may even think they are your only option. However, there is something better available for you—dental implants. But how do you know if implants are right for your situation, and how long are they going to last? You may also be curious about how you care for them, so in this article, we’re going to cover:

  • What dental implants are
  • How long dental implants last
  • How to take care of dental implants

What Are Dental Implants?

dental implant chart labeling each section of the piece

Are dental implants a better option for you?

Dental implants are designed to replace your missing tooth or teeth. Typically they include a titanium implant that your dentist will put into your jaw bone. Eventually, the implant will fuse with the surrounding bone, making it very stable and strong. An abutment and crown is placed on top of the implant, designed to look like your natural tooth. In order to be a good candidate for a dental implant, you’ll need to have a certain amount of bone available in your jaw. Most people who choose to undergo this type of procedure have a successful outcome, and wonder why they didn’t do it sooner. 

Depending on your situation, you and your dentist can discuss what options are best for you. Dental implants are available as:

  • A single tooth
  • A bridge with a few teeth
  • An entire jaw replacement

Most dentists agree that dental implants are a better alternative to traditional dentures because they can give you back your ability to chew, speak and smile with confidence again—returning your quality of life. In addition, getting a dental implant is a good idea because:

  • They are like natural teeth. Implants are placed into the structure of your jaw. They then fuse with the bone, making them very strong and stable, just like your natural teeth. They can bring back your chewing power and allow you to eat your favorite foods again. Your dentist will also customize your implant(s) so they are the same color as the rest of your teeth. 
  • Prevent bone loss in your jaw. One of the biggest problems of missing teeth — besides the problems chewing and speaking — is that when left unfilled, those gaps can lead to bone loss. When there is no root or tooth to function as normal, the bone of your jaw begins to deteriorate and recedes back. 
  • Keep your teeth stable. When you have gaps between your teeth, it can cause the surrounding teeth to start to lean in, possibly becoming crooked. This can make it even more difficult to chew and speak normally, not to mention it can have an impact on your smile.
  • Provide confidence. With the stability and security that comes with dental implants, you can smile, speak, and eat with confidence, and won’t have to worry about your teeth. 
  • They are long lasting. Dental implants are not only stable, but they are also designed to last a very long time.

Now that you know the benefits of dental implants, it’s time to learn exactly how long you can expect them to last, as well as how to care for them. 

female dentist looking at a patient with a call to action on the right side saying “find an office”

How Long Do Dental Implants Last? 

How long can you expect to enjoy the use of your dental implants?

The short answer to how long dental implants last is, for quite a long time. They are designed to be a permanent solution to your missing teeth, and look like and function just like your normal teeth would. Because the implants are anchored into your bone, they are viewed by dentists as the most stable, effective, and long lasting tooth replacement option. The longer answer to that question is that it can vary from person to person—how long dental implants last is determined by how well they’re cared for (more on that later). 

You can expect the titanium screw that goes into the bone to last a lifetime, however, the crowns or abutments you may find need to be replaced due to wear and tear after 10-15 years. Again, this all depends on how you use and care for them. That being said, dental implants are a permanent solution. As long as you care for them like you would your natural teeth, they can last you a lifetime.

How Do You Care for Dental Implants?

young woman smiling while brushing her teeth

What’s the best way to care for your dental implants?

In order to get the most out of your dental implants, you’ve got to ensure you’re properly caring for them. Just like your natural teeth, you’ll need to make sure you care for them to prevent the build-up of plaque and bacteria, which can lead to infection and other issues—possibly limiting the lifetime of your implants. In order to keep your implants happy and healthy, we recommend:

  • Brushing and cleaning them twice per day, just like you would with natural teeth in the morning and at night. Make sure to use a soft bristle toothbrush as well.
  • Make sure you brush in, on and around the crown to ensure you’re getting all the spaces where plaque can form.
  • If your dentist recommends it, try using a toothpaste designed to be less abrasive.
  • Use an unwaxed floss, or a specific type of implant floss that your dentist recommends.
  • Consider using an oral irrigator.
  • Visit your dentist for check-ups and cleanings every six months.

You can discuss the specifics of the care of your dental implants with your dentist, and they’ll ensure you’re checking off all the boxes when it comes to keeping your implants clean. 

Dental implants can last you a lifetime with the proper care and maintenance. If you’re considering a permanent solution to your missing teeth, talk to your dentist about dental implants. 

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