How Long Do Teeth Implants Last
Teeth implants are a popular treatment for tooth replacement, helping to correct for both missing and damaged teeth. They involve a titanium root which aims to replicate the root section of the previous natural tooth, and a dental crown on top to replace the natural tooth itself. We are often asked how long do teeth implants typically last and what affects their lifespan?
On average teeth implants generally last for a period of 15-20 years, with worldwide data showing 95% of implants lasting for this period of time. While implants can last beyond this period, due to many factors they rarely last upwards of 20 years.
There are four key factors that can reduce the lifespan of teeth implants:
- Poor oral hygiene: Often those who receive teeth implants treat them differently to how they would their natural teeth, for example reducing their oral hygiene standards. Without impeccable oral hygiene the titanium root with be unable to successfully fuse to the gum, potentially being rejected and falling out early.
- Lifestyle: The lifestyle choices of teeth implant holders are imperative and can dramatically reduce the lifespan of the implants. Smoking is perhaps the greatest lifestyle threat to implants, as high nicotine levels can reduce blood flow to the implant area and reduce the potential of successful implant integration. Alcohol can also affect blood flow, causing blood to thin and stop the necessary clotting/healing around the implant area. Stopping or reducing smoking and alcohol intake is thus essential, especially in the early stages of receiving teeth implants.
- Damage to the implant: While crowns can be stronger than natural teeth, they can still be susceptible to damage. Subsequently, it is essential that teeth implants are not used in any way which can cause major trauma, such as using them as tools to open drinks. Additionally, extra precaution should be taken when eating hard food items such as boiled sweets, as they can cause damage to the crown.
- Pre-existent medical conditions: The medical conditions of the person with the implants also affect lifespan significantly. Diabetes and a damaged immune system can greatly increase the risk of implants being rejected by the body as well as the potential risk of infections following the procedure. Subsequently, any medical conditions should be discussed with the dentist in depth to assess the risk they pose.
How to look after teeth implants
Maximising the lifespan of your teeth implants is very similar to how you care for your natural teeth. For example, brushing at least twice a day for two minutes and flossing regularly, will ensure the implants remain clean and reduce potential plaque build-up. Additionally, regular dental check-ups are essential to ensure the implants are settling well and to identify any minor damage to your crown. Spotting these minor issues early is essential to ensure they do not develop into major problems and avoid having to replace the whole crown.