How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

If you’re tired of dealing with dentures or are missing some or all of your teeth, dental implants are a great solution. They look and work just like your natural adult teeth. Getting dental implants is a big decision, and if you’re considering them, you’re probably wondering — do they last? 

Amanda Darling, DDS, and the team at Legacy Dental Care provide dental implants to patients of all ages in the Ballwin, Missouri, area. To help you better understand how dental implants work and how long they last, our team created this informative guide. 

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are screw-like posts, usually made from a biocompatible metal, like titanium. Dr. Darling surgically implants the post into your jawbone, giving them the name “implants.” 

As you heal, the implants fuse to your bone and serve as an artificial root. Because they’ve fused with your natural bone, your implants function the same as the natural roots of your teeth. 

Dr. Darling tops the implants with a natural-looking dental prosthetic, like porcelain crowns, dentures, or a bridge. Together the implants and prosthetics work like natural teeth, helping you smile, eat, and laugh with confidence.    

How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants are designed to be permanent. With good dental hygiene, like regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups every six months, the implant screw can last a lifetime. On average, dental implants last more than 25 years. 

The prosthetic attached to the screw may need to be replaced, however. For example, crowns typically last between 10-15 years before a replacement is needed. 

It’s important to note that the time a prosthetic lasts isn’t set in stone. Depending on the location of the implant, some prosthetics may wear down sooner and others might last for over 20 years. 

For example, prosthetics at the rear of the mouth where your molars are located typically get more use from chewing. This means they wear out faster than prosthetics that replace front teeth. 

Your level of dental care also affects the life of the prosthetic. With excellent dental care, you can extend its life. On the other hand, bad dental habits, like chewing ice, can shorten it.  

Do dental implants have other benefits?

In addition to being a long-lasting dental solution that looks and functions like your natural teeth, there are other benefits of dental implants. The prosthetics that top your dental implants are resistant to stains, giving you a whiter, brighter smile. In addition, the screw and prosthetic are made from highly durable materials that resist decay, making you less susceptible to disease.

Many people lose bone mass as they age. But dental implants stabilize bone mass, helping your jawbone stay stronger, longer. 

And unlike other treatments that require your provider to resize or reshape the surrounding teeth, dental implants don’t affect the other natural teeth in the treatment area, keeping them healthy and strong.   

How can I get started with dental implants?

Before recommending implants, Dr. Darling at Legacy Dental Care evaluates your current oral health and dental history. She also assessed the bone mass in your jaw where the dental implant will be placed. 

You’re likely a good candidate if you are missing one or more teeth, your jaw has finished growing, and you have healthy gums in addition to having sufficient bone mass for the implant. Other candidates include patients looking for an alternative to dentures or bridges. 

If you’re ready to learn more about long-lasting dental implants, contact Legacy Dental Care in Ballwin at 636-203-7519 to set up an appointment with Dr. Darling and the team.

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