How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Rendering of jaw with dental implantReplacing missing teeth has come a long way. The discovery of osseointegration and the development of dental implants has completely revolutionized the whole process. This unique treatment provides several incredible benefits over traditional treatments. In addition to restoring the functions of your missing teeth and your smile, dental implants provide superior comfort and help to preserve the integrity of your jawbone. At Gregory A. Williams, DMD, PC, we provide dental implants to meet several different tooth replacement needs. While this treatment has been around for over 50 years now, there are still many questions surrounding them. One of the most common questions we get concerns just how long dental implants last.

Components of Dental Implants

Most dental implants are made up of three components:
•  The post. The post is the titanium piece that is surgically placed into your jawbone. Your bone fuses to the post as you heal, stabilizing it within your jaw. This is a natural process called osseointegration. Once this process is complete, the post can provide secure support for your dental restoration.
•  The abutment. The abutment, or connector, is placed on top of the implant. This piece helps to provide stability for the restoration.
•  The dental restoration. The dental restoration, or ceramic crown, replaces the visible portion of a missing tooth. It looks just like a real tooth and restores your smile, your speech, and your abilities to bite and chew properly.

The Expected Lifespan of Dental Implants

Your dental implants are made to be a long-term solution to tooth loss and can even be permanent. As you heal, your natural bone fuses to the posts, essentially turning them into replacement tooth roots. In addition to providing support for your dental restorations, the posts also restore the stimulation lost when you lost your teeth.

The stimulation triggers the body to send essential nutrients again, helping to stop and prevent bone loss in the jaw. This is a benefit that no other tooth replacement option can provide. Bridges and dentures replace your teeth but do not restore stimulation. As a result, the bone continues to weaken, leading to the need for the restorations to be replaced every few years. With dental implants, the bone loss is stopped, allowing your restorations to last long-term.

While your implant posts are designed to last long-term, the ceramic crowns are typically rated to last 15 years or longer. However, even if the crowns wear out or break, they can easily be replaced without having to replace your entire restoration.

Factors that Affect Implant Longevity

Even though implants are made to last a long time, there are some factors that can affect just how long they last. These factors include:
•  Certain medical conditions. Medical conditions like diabetes can increase the risk of implant failure.
•  Alignment issues. If your jaw or natural teeth are poorly aligned, excessive pressure can be placed on the implants, which can wear away at your jawbone, compromising stability.
•  The placement of the implant posts. Implants at the back of the jaw are subject to greater forces, which can cause wear in the bone.
•  Poor oral hygiene. While the dental restorations cannot suffer decay, they can still accumulate plaque and bacteria that can contribute to gum disease. Gum disease causes gum tissue to swell and pull away from your teeth, and your implants, causing pockets. Bacteria then fall into these pockets, where they begin attacking the bone. If the bone becomes too weak, the posts can fail.
•  Facial trauma. Injuries to the jawbone can compromise the integrity of your implant posts.

Call to schedule your consultation

Dental implants are made to be a long-term solution to tooth loss and can even last a lifetime with proper care. Call Gregory A. Williams, DMD, PC today at 503-620-2020 to schedule your consultation and find out if dental implants are the right solution for you.

Discover more about Dental Implants

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Tigard, OR 97224-2481

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11820 SW King James Pl Suite 40 Tigard, OR 97224
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