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Dental Implants: How Long Do They Last?

Dental implants are known for their ability to replicate a real tooth in terms of function and esthetics to replace lost teeth. There are many advantages to dental implants that have earned them their status, and longevity is one of them. When you spend time and money on a dental procedure, you want to know that the results will stand the test of time. 

How long do dental implants last? Here’s what you can expect. 

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium, a biocompatible material that fuses with the bone in your jaw. Most often, the surgical procedure is performed in the doctor’s office with only local anesthesia. Once the implant fully bonds with the bone, a piece called an abutment is attached to the implant which then allows the crown to be attached. There are other tooth replacement options that implants are utilized to help secure or retain the replacement teeth. One implant can replace a single tooth. Multiple implants placed throughout your jaw can support a bridge or help retain dentures. 

Average Lifespan of a Dental Implant

Once the implant effectively bonds with the bone in your jaw, the average implant can potentially last for at least 20 years or more. This highly depends on regular dental visits and your effective home care to keep the implants clean.

Why Do Dental Implants Last So Long?

The reason dental implants can last so long is the technology and research  behind them. Because titanium is a biocompatible material, it is capable of osseointegration, the process by which the implant fuses with the bone. The implant also has ridges, similar to threads on a screw, that maximize a secure bond with the bone. 

Does the Prosthetic Portion Last Forever? 

The term dental implant refers specifically to the root portion that is placed in the bone. The prosthetic portion is the crown, bridge, or denture i.e. the tooth replacement portion. The prosthetic portion just like a regular crown is subject to wear and may need replacement over time The lifespan of the prosthetic portion often depends on the quality of the materials it is made of, as well as the personal habits of the patient. 

What Can I Do to Help My Dental Implant Last Longer?

Here are some suggestions to help your dental implant last for the rest of your life: 

  • Follow your dentist’s instructions for after care. What you do in the first few days, weeks, and months after your dental implant surgery can have the biggest impact on the success of your implant. Taking care of the implant site, avoiding chewing on that side until your dentist gives you the go ahead, and not smoking are just a few of the things you can do to ensure your dental implant fuses with the bone and the tissue properly heals. 
  • Practice good oral hygiene. Taking good care of your other teeth as well as your implant is important to help it last. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Avoid the area where your implant was placed until your dentist tells you it is safe to brush and floss around it. 
  • Eat a nutritious diet. Healing after surgery, as well as ongoing bone health, depends on a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals. Your dental implant may last longer if you’re eating well and taking good care of yourself. 

Progressive Periodontics & Implant Dentistry provides superior periodontal care to patients in Monmouth County and beyond. Their practice is proud to provide their patients with state-of-the-art dental care services including dental implants, periodontal maintenance, and restorative dentistry.

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