A: Dental implants when done right, offer long, long, long-term solutions. When I hear the word permanent, I think lifetime. So, when someone gets an implant, we would never promise them a lifetime. However, I’ve seen implants, 20 years later; still in a patient functioning absolutely perfectly. So, to me that’s permanent. Knowing that we can offer a solution with implants that will give patients 15-20 years of a solution—yeah, they’re permanent.
Do dental implants last the rest of my life? Are dental implants permanent? How long will dental implants last? If you’ve been contemplating dental implants in Houston, you’ve likely pondered on all of these questions. It’s important to consider that nothing in life lasts forever. However, dental implants—with proper oral hygiene and maintenance can last upwards of 25 years or more.
Of course, there are many factors other than oral hygiene that can affect that prognosis. A patient’s overall health for example could impact the lifespan of dental implants. We have seen patients with diabetes that is not controlled end up needing implants replaced ten years down the road. However, this is not due to the implants themselves but from the patient not controlling their diabetes. In fact, dental implants are designed to be a permanent solution.
Facts About Dental Implants In Houston
As mentioned, dental implants aren’t designed as a temporary solution such as dentures or bridges. Rather, they are designed as a 1:1 re-creation of natural teeth. They look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. They can also support your dental structure and enable chewing and biting without slippage since they’re anchored in your jawbone.
Other than replacing your missing teeth or a single missing tooth, implants help maintain the structure of your jawbone. It does this by stimulating the jawbone as well as lessening the burden on the remaining teeth. This helps preserve the jawbone and prevent atrophy that leads to bone disintegration. When you lose jawbone mass, it drastically changes the functionality and the appearance of your mandible. This condition can have a domino effect on your health and emotional wellbeing.
Dental Implants Are Indistinguishable From Natural Teeth
Since a dental implant looks and feels just like natural teeth, it makes it seem that you were born with a perfect smile. This can improve your self-esteem and confidence in all facets of life. Patients that have an unnatural gap where a tooth once was, often feel stigmatized and avoid smiling. They may even begin to become introverted due to this negative impact.
However, aside from the aesthetic value that dental implants in Houston offer, they also offer pragmatic benefits. When you lose multiple teeth or an entire arch, many of your favorite foods become too difficult to eat. Dental implants, however, restore your chewing ability and allow you to eat whatever you desire.
Additionally, dentures as well as missing teeth often cause a person to speak differently. Sometimes the case is so severe that a patient needs a speech therapist. However, since dental implants are a 1:1 re-creation of your natural teeth—speech is not affected.
Breakdown Of A Dental Implant
To fully understand the answer to the question at hand, you need to be informed of the components that make up a dental implant.
- Implant –This is a titanium post that is implanted into your jawbone. It fills the role your tooth root once did. The implant is important both because it keeps the jawbone strong and because it supports the restorative prosthesis.
- Abutment – The abutment is the seat for the prosthesis and also increases stability. It is screwed to the top of the implant and sits above the gum line.
- Crown – This is what you know as the tooth or the visible part that you see. It is made from advanced materials with superior hardness. However, this material also looks indistinguishable from your natural teeth. It mimics natural teeth in every possible way and is just as durable.
Typically, the exposed components of the dental implant—the crown and abutment—are more susceptible to failure from damage. Patients that use their teeth to open things, or experience dental trauma can damage these parts.
Meanwhile, the implant itself usually stays intact. For example, the actual implant may easily last a lifetime. However, the crown or abutment may last 20-25 years depending on how it’s cared for and maintained. In all honesty, the lifespan is very much up to the patient to some extent given their durable design and construction.
Factors That Affect How Long Dental Implants Last
As we’ve discussed, dental implants in Houston—when cared for properly, can last 25 years or more. The key concept there is proper care, as the lifespan of dental implants depends on a few factors such as:
- Your Oral Hygiene— If you’re brushing and flossing at least twice a day and seeing your dentist twice a year—you’re on the right path. However, skipping your biannual checkups and failing to follow good oral care at home is detrimental to the longevity of your implant.
- How You Use (Or Abuse) Your Teeth—If you’re being careful, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, consistently chewing on ice, pen caps, opening bottles, and the like will significantly lower the implant’s lifespan.
- How Well The Surgery Was Performed— Even the most advanced materials in implants can be negated by a poorly executed procedure. However, when you get your implants done at Comprehensive Dental Group of Houston—we’re more than qualified—we lead the pack. Dr. Hanna has performed thousands of successful dental implant procedures throughout his career.
- Your Lifestyle And Overall Health— If you smoke or drink alcohol in higher than average amounts you are at higher risk of implant failure. If you want your dental implants to last a lifetime, don’t smoke and enjoy alcohol only in moderation.
- Implant Location— Implant location plays a significant role in how long your dental implant lasts. Implants located in the back, such as molars, will endure more pressure due to being used mainly for chewing. Therefore, implants at the back of the mouth, if they are going to fail—will typically fail first. However, as we’ve mentioned—with proper care, maintenance, and a properly executed procedure, they should be fine.
- Dental Implants Are Designed To Be A Permanent Solution
- Your Oral Hygiene, Lifestyle, And Overall Health Can Impact Implant Longevity
- The Implant Itself Typically Lasts A Lifetime
- Crowns And Abutments Are More Susceptible To Damage From Improper Care Or Trauma
- Dental Implants Are The Perfect Solution For Missing Teeth, Improving Confidence And Maintaining Facial Structure.
Considering Dental Implants In Houston?
If you want to learn more about dental implants you should come in and speak with Dr. Hanna to see if it’s a good fit for you. We offer the most advanced dental implant methods and, in many cases, can restore an entire smile in one day.
Contact us today and book your free consultation and let’s get your smile back!