How Long Do Dental Implants Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 10 To 15 Years

In general, dental implants can last forever, which means, they have a never-ending life expectancy. However, many factors reduce the life expectancy of dental plants. On average, dental implants last for about 10 to 15 years. Moreover, the life expectancy of dental implants is determined by many factors as well which are important to be considered while understanding how long dental implants last. 

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Among many factors, the major factor which determines the life expectancy of dental implants is the type of dental implants. Three major types of dental implants are used and depending upon the type, each type of dental implant has a different life expectancy. These dental implants are endosteal dental implant, subperiosteal dental implant, and mini dental implant. 

Endosteal implants are the most common type of dental implant among all types of dental implants. Moreover, talking about their appearance, these dental implants look like small screws or cylinders in shape. These dental implants are often made from a metal called titanium, however, titanium can be replaced by ceramic as well. 

Moreover, talking about subperiosteal implants, these are the dental implants that are placed under the gums and on the top of the jawbone. These dental implants consist of a metal framework with small extensions that protrude slightly from the gums. These implants are majorly recommended for people who either don’t have a jawbone healthy enough for the placement of an endosteal implant or don’t wish to undergo the endosteal implant procedure.

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Lastly, mini dental implants or also known as MDIs are dental implants that are narrower as compared to the other types of dental implants. These dental implants have a diameter of fewer than 3 millimeters, which is equal to that of a toothpick.

Here is a quick summary of how long will dental implants last depending upon the type of dental implants:

Type Of Dental ImplantsTime
Endosteal implants25 years
Subperiosteal implants15 years
Mini dental implants20 years

Why Do Dental Implants Last That Long?

As mentioned earlier as well, dental implants are made for lifetime use. However, some factors can lead to a decreased life expectancy of dental implants, reducing it to just around 10 to 15 years only. These factors include insufficient care and maintenance, teeth grinding, smoking, medications or treatments, and other such factors.

Oral hygiene is extremely important for implants as this is a major factor that determines their life expectancy. If not taken proper care of, it results in the accumulation of plaque which can further lead to gum disease. This can damage not just the gums but the jawbone as well. As a result, dental implants fail to stick to the gums and thus lead to a reduced life expectancy. Therefore, it is important to practice good oral hygiene normally and especially when you have an implant. 

If any person grinds his or her teeth or experiences any occlusal trauma, it can then result in fracture of the implant, loosening or fracture of the screw, or even fracture of the porcelain on the crown. The reason behind that is the repeated grinding motion or trauma that can cause tiny movements of the implant. This can further interfere with the osseointegration process and result in a reduced life expectancy of dental implants.

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Moreover, smoking can cause implant failure. The reason behind that is that smoking can interfere with blood flow to the affected area, which results in negatively impacting osseointegration and the healing process. Apart from this, smoking is also a risk for gum disease.

Conclusion

If you are someone who already has a dental implant or is planning to get one, then it is important to make sure to follow all the points so that the dental implants last for a longer duration and you don’t have to get the replacement surgery to be done frequently. If you want your dental implants to last longer then you should follow good oral hygiene practices, avoid smoking, and stop the practice of grinding your teeth. If you follow all these steps then the life expectancy of your dental implants can be increased by 10 to 15 years.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019567010900084X
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=PmM0kmya-9MC&oi=fnd&pg=PR3&dq=dental+implant&ots=3RGkj8X-am&sig=4X-qo2mSvkhsD_AweFlYm_-LCM0
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