How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

If you have missing teeth, there are many tooth replacement options out there for you. Having missing teeth can not only impact your self-confidence, but it can also negatively impact the rest of your oral health and cause more issues in the long run.

One popular permanent solution to replace missing teeth is dental implants. They don’t just replace the physical tooth, but also the tooth’s root as it’s surgically attached to your jawbone. This may seem scary at first, especially if you’re not big on oral surgery (or any kind of surgery for that matter), but trust us, you’ll want to learn more about how this procedure offers patients a natural-looking, long-term tooth replacement option.

The Negative Impacts of Missing Teeth

There are many reasons why you should not leave your missing teeth unfixed, even if it’s just one. Here are five reasons why you should consider discussing permanent solutions to replacing your teeth with your dentist.

1. Lowers Self-Confidence

Having low self-esteem can affect your mental health, leading to further issues like anxiety, stress, and depression. Missing or damaged teeth can easily cause this and that’s only natural. You want to feel confident and happy in your smile, after all, it’s one of the first things that others notice about you.

2. Causes Shifting

Even just one missing tooth can cause surrounding teeth to shift into their place. When your teeth shift, this can cause problems with being able to floss properly, cause issues with eating, speech impediments, loss of enamel, and ultimately, lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Even just one missing tooth can cause surrounding teeth to shift into their place. When your teeth shift, this can cause problems with being able to floss properly, cause issues with eating, speech impediments, loss of enamel, and ultimately, lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

3. Changes Facial Structure

Your teeth help keep the form of your lips and cheeks. As you lose teeth, you’re also going to lose that form and look of “fullness”. This is why you may notice that people with dentures have caved in lips and cheeks.

4. Affects Jawbone

Your jawbone strength and structure can drastically change as you lose teeth. And, the more your jawbone is affected, the more teeth you’ll actually lose. This cannot be reversed other than with a bone graft that can be taken from another part of your body, from a donor, or made from synthetic materials.

5. Causes Bite & Digestion Issues

Obviously, as you lose teeth, your bite is going to change. You’re going to feel differently when you eat which can, in turn, affect the way you digest food as well. You need a good, strong bite in order to remain healthy and to digest food properly.

How Dental Implants Work

Example of dental implant crown installation

The dental implant itself is a titanium post, or screw, that is surgically attached to your jawbone. This isn’t a complicated procedure unless you don’t have healthy gums surrounding the implant site, or if you don’t have a strong jawbone. Other factors can come into play too like if you’re a heavy smoker, are taking blood thinners, or have certain medical conditions.

A small slit will be made in your gums after having local anesthesia applied. After which, your dentist will screw the metal post into your jawbone and stitch up the cut. Once this is healed, you’ll receive a tooth replacement, such as a dental crown, that will look just like your natural teeth. The healing process is different for everyone, however, typically patients can expect to fully heal after 4-6 months.

The Dental Implant Failure Rate Is Low

Did you know that dental implants have a success rate of up to nearly 98%? Dental implants can last a lifetime, but if you do experience failure, it could be because of poor oral hygiene, smoking (which affects blood flow and bone quality), or if you have diabetes.

Dental Crowns May Need To Be Replaced

While dental implants last a lifetime, dental crowns may need to be touched up or replaced after time. With good oral hygiene and regular dental check ups, they can last upwards of 10-15 years.

Are Dental Implants Right For You?

Dental implant surgery can be quite simple depending on if you have good overall oral health. Things like bone loss or having pre-existing medical conditions can negatively impact the implant placement procedure and cause them to fail. However, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98% for a reason. They’re an extremely popular tooth replacement system that mimics natural teeth. But how long do dental implants last? In fact, they can actually last a lifetime if properly maintained and in the absence of certain medical conditions. Dental crowns may need to be touched up after 10-15 years.

If you’re curious about dental implants and if they’re the right solution for you, speak to our dentist for more detail. We want to help you improve your self-confidence and achieve an overall healthy and happy smile.

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