How long do dental implants last?
When you’re making investments like this in your mouth and going through procedures like this, it’s really logical to want to know how long it will last.
How long will my implant last? Implants don’t have expiration dates. In a very similar way to teeth, we don’t really say, how long will my natural teeth last? I think that there’s a lot of similarities there when you’re really asking that question, because there is no expiration date for your teeth, just like there’s no expiration date for a dental implant. It has to do with a number of factors. Let’s talk about a couple.
So, number one, dental implants are made of titanium, so they do not decay. If you’re a patient with a high decay rate, dental implants may be an amazing solution for you. There’s two dental diseases that exist. One is gum disease, and the other one is tooth decay. And they’re not the same, and they’re not the same bacteria. For whatever reason, some people are more susceptible to one versus the other, or maybe both, or maybe neither. If you’re susceptible to tooth decay, you have probably had lots of visits with the dentist. You know the dentist very well. Every time you go in, they may say, “Oh, we need another filling”. “We need to do a crown”. “Now, you need a root canal on this tooth”, or “This tooth has to come out at a certain point”. When I notice this from my patients, and maybe that’s you, we have to stop the madness. By placing an implant that has decades long, if not more, success rate and a solution that will last for that amount of time, versus fighting with a filling, discolorations, or inconsistent smiles, that’s really the beauty of these dental implant procedures, and why we do this kind of thing. We intend for dental implants to last a lifetime. That’s always our intention. There are factors within your body that make up you that could cause the implant to have a shorter lifespan than we want. So, you put the same implant under the same circumstances into you versus someone else. Maybe yours lasts longer. That’s just one of the factors of many.
We also can fix dental implant problems. Let’s say we notice, just like you notice a tooth is having a problem, you notice a little black spot on a tooth. We can fix a dental implant problem if we see it with enough advanced notice. Say that we notice that some of the gums around the implant are starting to get inflamed. There are simple tools, even antibiotics and lasers, that can be used to help to prolong the life of dental implants. Good care is really important. Seeing us regularly to manage the implant, that’s important. It’s not like a one and done type of situation. It’s not, “I got my dental implants. Now, I never have to do anything with them. I never have to take care of them. I never have to see a dentist”. No, that’s not true. Proper care is maybe even more important because now you’ve made a significant investment. You’ve gone through the suffering of not having teeth or having the teeth start to break down in your mouth, and all of the physical and emotional elements that go along with having these dental problems. That disease may still be present. Even though tooth decay doesn’t attack dental implants, gum disease and periodontal disease definitely do. Managing periodontal disease after you have implants is really an important part of the puzzle. So lifespan, we want it to last forever, and we know that there are limitations from our lifestyle, even from our genetics, that predispose us to have potential constrictions in the amount of time that our implants will last.
If you want to know if you’re a great candidate, then call us for a free consultation. I’ll be happy to take a look for you. We’ve got an amazing team of people, and we have amazing technology to help to determine whether or not implants will last a lifetime for you too.