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Many dental patients have many questions when it comes to dental implants. One of the most common questions they would ask is the longevity of their dental implants. They would often wonder how long it is going to last them? Would it last for a lifetime? Honestly, it is hard to say as many external factors such as lifestyle and personal oral hygiene, plays a big part.

Past medical conditions, implant misapplications as well as gum disease are also likely factors that can cause an implant to fail prematurely. However, that is mostly in the past as the technology of dental implants have improved significantly over the years and have managed to counter most of the aforementioned setbacks.

Understanding the 3 main components of a dental implant

To know how long a dental implant will last, you got to understand its components first. The 3 components are:

• Abutment – An attachment to the implant to hold the crown.

• Crown – A natural-looking ceramic tooth that is attached to the abutment.

• Implant – A titanium post that is surgically fixed in a patient’s jawbone, acting as a root for the crown.

The crown and abutment are more prone to damage as they are exposed, as opposed to the hidden implant.

A basic outlook on its longevity

Patients who brush and floss regularly as well as going for mandatory dental checkups twice a year, tend to keep their implants intact longer than the others who don’t. The crown can last a patient up to 10 years due to normal wear and tear, if taken care of; it can last up to 15 years. Depending on the placement of the implants, its location affects its lifespan too. Implants at the back of one’s mouth tend to receive more pressure and stress than the others; the possibility of it failing is relatively faster.

Over the 10-year mark

Dental implants usually survive through a decade and the affecting factor which decides whether it can or not are gum disease. Patients, who suffer from gum disease, have a 90% chance of keeping it for that long while the others who are not affected had a higher chance. About 200 or more patients were interviewed, to ask whether they managed to keep theirs for more than 14 years, and it turns out that more than 95% of them managed to. But for the unlucky ones who didn’t, bone loss prior to the placement of dental implants were the cause of such failure. Researchers went on their search for patients who maintained their implants for more than 16 years, and found out that 90% of them succeeded in doing so.

The big questions: Is it going to last forever?

Unfortunately, dental implants do not last forever. However, they are capable of lasting longer than they are supposed to. It is proven that a majority of dental implants can last up to 16 years, before showing signs of visible wear and tear. Hence, it is a positive sign that all your implants can last that long and longer. If you want to retain your dental implants for a lifetime, patients who are suffering from gum disease must make sure it is kept under control. But in any case, everyone should practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing their teeth and dental implants regularly. By cultivating such habits, a patient maximizes the use of their implants significantly.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.