Will Dental Implants Last Forever?

Dental Implant Illustration

Will Dental Implants Last Forever?

It is commonly wondered if dental implants last forever, or if dental implants are permanent, and the simple answer is that they are one of the longest lasting tooth replacement options on the market.

Dental implants have a long history, starting way back in 1952 with their invention by Ingvar Branemark, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon. He continued to study and refine his methods until 1982 at a medical conference.  His work showed the clinical success of implants and introduced the concept of osseointegration – where the bone actually fuses to the implant. Research has continued over the past forty plus years.

Dental implants look and feel just like your natural teeth, so they can improve your self-esteem and confidence. Many people who have spaces in their mouth due to lost teeth can smile wide after having their new dental implant.

Apart from the simple aesthetics of the dental implant, they have many practical benefits too. THey help you speak and eat naturally as they are securely anchored in the jaw with titanium posts. You don’t have to worry about slippage or having to deal with adhesives like traditional dentures. There are some alternatives to dental implants, including mini-implants, dentures and bridges. It is important to take the time to learn about each of these options and to consult with your dentist to see which is the right option for you.

How Permanent Are Dental Implants?

The question of how long a dental implant lasts is an important one. You may have heard that the average lifetime of a dental implant is twenty-five years or more. This is true as long as proper care is done to maintain them. Just like your natural teeth, a variety of factors influence their lifetime. THese factors include:

  • How well you follow a regular dental maintenance routine, such as daily flossing, brushing, and seeing a dentist every six months.
  • Avoid chewing or biting down on hard items, like pen tips or pencils and avoid opening things with your teeth.
  • THe skill of the dentist that placed the implant. Experts should be certified and knowledgeable of the best practices and be monitoring the process of osseointegration, or how well the implant is connecting to the jaw.
  • Your lifestyle (such as not smoking or smoking) and overall health.

How long do they last if I need a bone graft?

It is rare, but not uncommon, for people to need a minimally invasive bone graft in order to increase the strength or density of the jaw. Less than 10 percent of people require a bone graft. The loss of jawbone density generally is a result of trauma to the bone, infection, disease, or tooth loss. A bone graft helps restore the jawbone health, so you can enjoy the permanency of a dental implant.

Bone grafts are generally one of four types:

  1. Autogenous Grafts – This is where bone is taken from the hip, where the bone is marrow-rich and can supply many bone cells.
  2. Allografts – Instead of using bone from your own body, a graft is taken from donors.
  3. Xenografts – These bone grafts are from a non-human source, most often from a vow. This is completely compatible with your bone composition and anatomy.
  4. Alloplastic Bone Grafts – Instead of using natural bone, alloplastic grafts are synthetic, calcium phosphate grafts that are resorbable or non-resorbable.

How do I know if I need to replace my dental implant?

It is possible you will never need to replace the implant. As long as it does not become loose, or develop infection, or damage, you should be able to have it for years. Be sure to see your dentist every six months and maintain a  healthy daily oral routine of twice-daily brushings and once-daily flossing.

So, are Dental Implants Successful?

Dental implants have a 95 percent average success rate according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS). Their success is most heavily influenced by your lifestyle and the location of your missing teeth.

Because the dental implant penetrates the jaw and gum, many people who suffer from other issues like diabetes or who smoke may not be good candidates for the dental implant. Therefore it is important to discuss your current state of health with your dentist before getting fitted with an implant.

If you want to arrange a free consultation to determine if a dental implant is a good choice for you, Upland Dental Group & Implant Center in Upland, CA, is here to help you make that decision. Give us a call at (909) 985-1966 today to arrange an appointment today.