How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

An older man and woman smiling after getting dental implants at Benca Dentistry

Quick summary:

Dental implants are designed as a permanent tooth replacement, but how long they last depends on several factors. Many patients find that their dental implant crown lasts 10-15 years or much longer.

When you hear of a dental implant referred to as a permanent tooth replacement, you may be wondering, “Do dental implants last forever?”

This is a valid question.

We’ve got good news and bad news…

The good news is that dental implants can last for many years with proper dental care.

The bad news (this isn’t really bad at all, actually)…

There are no guarantees that any medical device lasts a lifetime, especially when it comes to all the work that our teeth do.

As for the term “permanent:”

This refers to the dental implant post that works as an artificial tooth root and fuses permanently with the jawbone.

The dental implant is definitely not going anywhere when the procedure is completed successfully, and steps can be taken to increase its lifespan.

At Benca Dentistry, we help patients restore their smiles with dental implants and will help you understand how dental implants work.

Let’s first go over what a dental implant is and the parts that make up an implant.

The dental implant process explained:

A dental implant is a fixed tooth replacement that replaces a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. There are also dental implant-supported dentures available to restore and support a full set of teeth.

The dental implant procedure gives patients a confident, full smile that looks natural and feels comfortable when eating, speaking, and smiling.

The dental implant process:

Step 1: At an initial consultation, the dentist reviews your oral health (gums and teeth) and overall health history to ensure you’re a candidate for dental implants. The procedure requires patients to be in good health and have adequate bone in the jaw for implant fusion (otherwise, extra steps are necessary to prep the treatment area, or the dentist may recommend another dental restoration option).

Step 2: A small titanium post (AKA the dental implant) is safely placed into the bone socket to replace the missing tooth root. A connector (AKA abutment) is placed onto the implant to connect the new crown (AKA new tooth) once the area heals and the implant fuses with the jawbone.

Step 3: A custom crown is made to match your natural tooth in size, color, and shape. The dentist takes impressions of your teeth and creates a CEREC same-day crown in the office or sends the impressions to a state-of-the-art lab for creation, depending on the dental practice’s in-house technology.

Step 4: Once ready, the crown is attached to the implant and checked for comfort and fit. The dentist will go over post-op care to help you increase the lifespan of your tooth replacement.

The tooth implant lifespan explained:

We get many questions about the tooth implant lifespan – “How long do teeth implants last?” or “How long can a dental implant last – is it forever?”

To help you understand this, let’s first look at the different parts of a dental implant:

  • Implant
  • Abutment
  • Crown

The crown and abutment, which are above the gum line, are more prone to damage due to regular wear when eating and chewing. Also, if a person grinds their teeth at night, they should consider wearing a nightguard to protect the tooth restoration.

But don’t worry:

High-quality porcelain crowns can last for 10-15 years or more with proper care. If the crown is damaged because of regular wear or an injury, it can be easily replaced and attached to the abutment.

As for the implant – this is made of a titanium post and may last a lifetime with proper dental care. The implant is below the gumline and permanently fuses to your jawbone to support teeth like a natural tooth root.

Another factor that affects how long dental implants last is the tooth replacement area because this affects how the crown is used. For example, teeth in the back of the mouth may wear faster because of chewing and eating.

Ways to help increase your dental implant’s lifespan:

  • Only work with an experienced dentist who is well-trained and skilled in dental implant surgery and crown placement
  • Brush and floss thoroughly at home
  • Visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid smoking
  • Avoid biting hard objects like ice

But there’s more:

Each person is unique, and to help them answer “How long do dental implants last?” we also need to look at their medical history and periodontal health.

Your dentist will help you better understand your specific dental implant procedure and results, but the truth is that dental implants have a high rate of success.

Which is great news!

Last but not least, we can’t stress enough how important regular dentist visits are. Just because a patient has had a tooth replacement doesn’t mean they can avoid dentist appointments.

You should care for your dental implants like you’d care for your natural teeth.

A bonus of coming to the dentist for regular visits is that your dentist can check the crown’s integrity so that problems can be fixed before they get out of control.

Looking for dental implants in Tukwila, WA?

If you need a tooth replacement due to a mouth injury, tooth decay, or periodontal disease, then dental implants may be the perfect solution for you.

Imagine replacing your missing tooth with a natural-looking and fully-functional dental implant.

Benca Dentistry (voted top dentist in Seattle) works with the area’s leading periodontal surgeons and offers CEREC same-day crowns for your convenience.

Even if your missing tooth isn’t visible, it’s important to replace it because a new space can shift your other teeth or cause excess pressure on certain ones.

We know you’re busy, which is why we offer convenient and innovative dentistry near Seattle.

In addition to dental implants, our services include:

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