If you have or are considering implants, it’s natural to wonder how long do dental implants last. After all, it’s a big investment toward improving your smile and optimizing teeth function. Dental implants function as a permanent replacement for missing or damaged teeth and are worth every penny.
But that’s not all. At Gallardo Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, we notice that more patients are opting for implants instead of dentures or bridges because they have the potential to last for the rest of your life. This is, of course, with proper oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. Our periodontist, Dr. John Paul Gallardo DDS PA can provide more tips on how to make your implants last for many years.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is another name for a prosthetic tooth that takes the place of a missing tooth. It consists of an artificial tooth root, also called an implant post, and a replacement crown. The tooth root is surgically implanted into the jawbone or the gum depending on the type of procedure your periodontist recommends.
Endosteal and subperiosteal are the two types of implant procedures. The difference with the endosteal implant is it is inserted into the jawbone and not the gum, as is the case with the subperiosteal implant. Bone grafting may also be necessary for patients getting endosteal implants.
Once the gum heals, your periodontist attaches connector rods (abutments) to the implant posts. Abutments help keep the replacement porcelain crown snugly in place once it’s mounted onto the tooth root. Now, you can smile again with confidence. When you show off your new, brilliant smile, no one can tell the difference between the implant and your natural teeth. Besides, implants look, feel, and function like your original teeth.
Factors that Determine How Long Implants Last
The general consensus is that implants can last approximately 25 years or longer. Additionally, your dental crowns may last between 10 and 15 years before needing replacement. However, certain factors play into the longevity of your replacement teeth. These factors include:
- Implant Location: Believe it or not, the implant location affects how long it will last. Similar to your natural teeth, implants positioned at the back of your mouth (molar implants) will come under more pressure and stress from chewing, crushing, or grinding compared to side (premolar) or front teeth (canines and incisors). As such, implants at the back of the mouth are likely to fail far more quickly than those at the front.
- Oral Hygiene: First off, dental implants do not decay like your natural teeth can. This doesn’t mean you should not care for them. You should brush and floss implants at least two times a day and see your dentists at least twice a year. Failure to practice good oral hygiene allows bacteria-filled plaque to collect on the implant crowns and gum beneath. A bacterial infection known as peri-implantitis (similar to periodontitis) may develop as a result. The infection of the gum tissue surrounding the affected implant can lead to rapid bone loss and loss of the implant.
- Chewing and Lifestyle Habits: How you use your teeth will also affect how long your implants last. Chewing or biting down on hard items, such as ice, a pencil, or crown cork, will only shorten the lifespan of the implant. Other unhealthy habits, such as smoking or heavy drinking on a long-term basis, can also damage your replacement teeth.
- The Expertise of the Periodontist: Your implants can last as long as the average 25 years or more lifespan if they are fixed in place by a well-trained and experienced periodontist like Dr. John Paul Gallardo DDS PA. In fact, studies show that the survival rate of implants placed by an implant specialist such as a periodontist was 95.5% compared to 73.0% for implants placed by inexperienced practitioners. The training and expertise of the periodontist can make a significant difference as he will know how to properly diagnose and treat you.
- Treating Pre-existing Conditions: If you decide to get implants at Gallardo Periodontics, Dr. Gallardo will address preexisting dental conditions, such as gum disease or periodontitis, that may reduce the survival rate of the replacement teeth. We will also determine whether it’s best for you to have the implant fixed in the gum or the bone and whether we should augment the jawbone. An implant tends to stay in place longer when there’s adequate jawbone height. We will also ensure the osseointegration stage (healing of the gum) is complete before proceeding with the final stages of implant surgery.
Dental Implants are Designed to Last
Dental implants are strong and snugly fitted into the jawbone or gum. They won’t shift or fall out, except in the case of trauma to the teeth or poor dental hygiene. They can also be surgically removed. Although dental implants do not come with a lifetime guarantee, you may very well be stuck with them for life!
These advanced prosthetic teeth can withstand decades of stress and they do not rot. Because of their potential for longevity, they make an excellent choice for single or multiple teeth replacements. Just care for your implant daily and keep your appointments for regular dental check-ups and your brilliant smile can last forever.
Schedule an Appointment with Miami’s Leading Periodontist
At Gallardo Periodontics and Implant Dentistry in Miami, FL, we’re dedicated to restoring smiles and changing lives, one tooth at a time. We offer implants to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or a complete set of missing or damaged teeth (full-mouth restoration). Types of implants available are All-on-4 implants, traditional, and metal-free implants. You can also get implants repaired or replaced. Contact us to find out more or call 305-547-8687 to request an appointment today.