Dental implant FAQs

How long do dental implants last?

Throughout the phase after the new teeth are fitted, the success of each treatment stage will be the main factor determining how the implants are performing.

Once the dental implants are settled, the surrounding gum and bone are healthy and the new teeth comfortable and fit well, it is the quality of your hygiene at home and your willingness to return for regular implant and hygiene reviews that will have most influence on how long your dental implants will last.

If implants are poorly cared for, a covering of hard and soft deposits (calculus and plaque) will develop – as with neglected natural teeth.  If left untreated, calculus and plaque will lead to gum infection, bleeding and discomfort – as with neglected natural teeth.  If a patient completes treatment and does not visit a dentist or hygienist regularly for reviews, there is a much higher risk of failure.

Maintenance-wise, dental implant-supported teeth have similar maintenance requirements as conventional crowns, bridges and dentures – they need occasional repairs or replacements during their lifetime.

If implants are placed into sufficient bone and are well cared, maintained and reviewed on a regular basis, they can be expected to last for many years.

Modern dental implants have a history of over 30 years, and the data generated worldwide states that 95% of implants can be expected to last for a period of 15-20 years + (accurate data collection started about 20 years ago), and predictions are that 90% of implants should last a lifetime in correct conditions.

Smokers are a group with one of the highest risk of implant failure, and data shows that the failure rate for smokers is 10 to 15%, and this failure rate is similar for patients with high alcohol consumption. For more information on dental implants for smokers, click here. There are several different medical conditions and of course any facial trauma can also affect the longevity of dental implants.

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