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How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Submitted by Michael R. Cortese, D.M.D. on Fri 02/17/2017 - 09:00

Compared to natural, healthy teeth, dental implants are the next best thing. They are the standard by which other tooth replacement options are judged because they look, feel and function almost exactly like natural teeth.

Dental implants also last a very long time. Read on as Dr. Michael Cortese, a trusted implant dentist at Princeton Prosthodontics, discusses the typical life span of a dental implant.

Durable and Long-Lasting Tooth Replacements

Dental implants are designed to be durable and long-lasting tooth replacements. As long as an implant remains stable, secure and free of infection and damage, it does not need to be replaced.

The implant post is surgically placed in the jawbone, where it integrates with the bone to form a stable base for an artificial tooth (e.g., crown or bridge). A piece called an abutment connects the top of the implant post with the artificial tooth. All of these components are made from high-quality materials that are compatible with the jawbone, gums and surrounding teeth.

Although implants cannot decay like natural teeth, they need to be cared for similarly. Implants should be brushed and flossed daily, and checked by a dentist every six months. They should not bite down on anything hard, like a pen cap, shells or ice.

With the proper care and maintenance, a dental implant can last a lifetime. The artificial tooth may need replacement after 10 to 15 years because of normal wear. However, the implant post in the jawbone should last well beyond that.

Factors that Affect an Implant’s Longevity

Like any medical device, implants are not indestructible. Certain factors can cause an implant to fail, such as the following:

  • Lack of good oral hygiene habits – ignoring oral care habits like brushing and flossing may lead to implant failure. Bacteria left on and around the implant can build up and cause tissue inflammation, gum disease and eventually jawbone loss. If the jawbone deteriorates significantly, the implant can loosen and fall out.
  • The skill of the dentist that places the implant – the more experienced the implant dentist, the more likely the implant is to last long-term.
  • Lifestyle and overall health – smoking and pre-existing health conditions (e.g., autoimmune disorders) are likely to cause implant failure.

Interested in Replacing a Tooth with a Dental Implant?

To learn more about the benefits of a dental implant over other tooth replacement options, please contact Princeton Prosthodontics and request a consultation with Dr. Cortese. Call (609) 683-8282 or email us today.