Have you been having trouble eating ever since you lost teeth? Maybe you’ve tried a denture, but it stopped fitting the way it should after only a year or so. If only there were a solution to tooth loss that felt just as natural as your original teeth! Fortunately, there is – dental implants. This solution is sturdy enough to let you chew practically any food. But how long do dental implants last? Keep reading to find out some factors that affect dental implant lifespan and how you can ensure your new teeth last a lifetime.
But First, What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants consist of three parts:
- Implant: A small titanium post that is surgically inserted into the jawbone to replicate the root of the lost tooth.
- Abutment: A metal attachment that connects the implant to the crown.
- Crown: A custom-made, lifelike restoration that recreates the appearance of a natural tooth.
Because the crown and abutment are above the gumline, they’re generally more susceptible to damage than the implant itself.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Provided you take good care of your implant with diligent oral hygiene and routine dental checkups, the implant itself can last for several decades or even the rest of your life. The crown, on the other hand, will typically have to be replaced every 10 to 15 years due to natural wear and tear.
The location of the implant in your mouth could also affect its longevity. Implants that have replaced molars, or back teeth, are subjected to more strain through chewing than those toward the front of the mouth. As a result, they might fail more quickly.
How to Make Your Dental Implants Last
Generally, maintaining your implant-supported teeth isn’t all that different from caring for your natural teeth. Brush your restorations twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoridated toothpaste. Make sure to floss daily as well. Using traditional floss might be a bit tricky, try an interdental brush or water flosser to clean the area. In addition to at-home oral hygiene, visit your dentist every six months for a routine checkup and cleaning. They can ensure your implants are still in good shape and spot any potential problems early on.
Compared to all of the other options, dental implants are by far the longest lasting way of replacing missing teeth. To enjoy the benefits of having a beautiful, complete smile again, ask your dentist whether dental implants are right for you!
About the Author
Dr. James L. Schumacher has worked in the dental field for more than 40 years so far, the past 25 of which have been in the Jacksonville, FL community. After earning his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Florida, he underwent extensive post-graduate training to be able to place and restore dental implants himself. To learn more about whether dental implants are the right way to rebuild your smile, you can contact Dr. Schumacher’s office at 904-388-3559.