Dental implants outlast a bridge or a partial denture. But how long can you expect your implants to last? Are dental implants permanent? We will explain whether implants are permanent, which parts you must replace, and how you can preserve your implants.
Are Dental Implants Permanent?
Engineers designed dental implants to be a permanent form of tooth replacement—lasting a lifetime. The article, What Is the Success Rate of Dental Implants?, published by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, confirms that dental implants can last many decades if you take care of them. However, the permanency of dental implants refers to the screw or artificial tooth root. The prosthesis, or artificial teeth, attached to implants will require replacing over the years.
What Are the Parts of a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots. Your implant dentist will attach a connector (abutment) to each implant fixture. And after three to four months of healing, your dentist will attach artificial teeth to the abutments. Meanwhile, you can wear temporary replacement teeth.
Types of artificial teeth, also called prostheses or restorations, include:
What Is the Lifespan of a Dental Implant Restoration?
Dental implant crowns, bridges, and dentures can last longer than restorations not attached to implants. Estimates for their lifespan are below:
- Implant crown – An implant crown can last up to fifteen years if you take care of it. Gold crowns are sturdy and last longer than ceramic crowns.
- Implant bridge – An implant bridge can last up to twenty years before you need to replace it.
- Implant denture – A well-made implant denture can last ten years or longer.
What Can You Do to Help Your Dental Implants Last?
Your dental implants can be permanent if you take precautions. Your choice of an implant dentist and diligent home care make a difference.
Below are five tips, including several recommendations from the American Academy of Implant Dentistry for protecting your implants:
- Choose an implant dentist or surgeon who uses 3-D x-rays for planning implant placement
- Avoid tobacco use because it hinders healing
- Avoid alcohol
- Practice good oral hygiene
- Maintain good overall health
The artificial root of a dental implant can last a lifetime. But you will need to replace the dental crown, bridge, or denture attached to the implants over the years. Select your implant surgeon wisely. And take good care of your implants to help them be a permanent form of tooth replacement.
Dr. Steven Brookser, a Fellow of implant dentistry in Baton Rouge, sponsors this post.