Dental implants are currently the gold standard for permanent tooth restoration. They cost quite a buck and insurance providers do not generally cover the cost. For this particular reason, patients want to know how long they last before making the investment.
Implants have many benefits including a 90%–95% success rate over a 10-year period and the ability to last almost a lifetime. Their durability, lifespan, and benefits are top reasons why more people are choosing dental implants instead of traditional dentures or dental bridges.
What are Dental Implants?
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), a dental implant is a small metal post that functions as a substitute for your natural tooth root. The artificial root is permanently held in place by a connector, known as an abutment. A custom-made crown or cap is placed over the implant at the end of the procedure. You can receive single or multiple tooth implants, implant-supported bridges, implant-supported dentures, or All-on-4 implants. Certain patients are also eligible for same-day or temporary implants.
How Long Does the Dental Implant Process Take?
Endosteal and subperiosteal are the two surgical techniques used for embedding the prosthetic tooth. Implants fitted in the jawbone (endosteal) tend to be more resilient and may last longer than those that rest on top of the bone (subperiosteal). It takes several months to complete either treatment because of the various stages and time needed for the gum to heal. The endosteal procedure takes longer due to the need for the implant to fuse to the bone and the gum to heal. The need for bone grafting, a sinus lift, or ridge expansion will further extend the treatment timeline.
What Makes Dental Implants Last So Long?
Implants generally last more than a decade because they are made of durable material, usually titanium or zirconia. Surgically embedding the metal post into as opposed to on top of the jawbone increases its longevity. While the metal tooth root does not decay, the tissue surrounding the gum is susceptible to infection or peri-implantitis. Untreated gum disease can cause implant failure.
Fortunately, daily oral care (brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash) and dental check-ups every 6 months help prevent gum infection. Good oral hygiene also extends the lifespan of your replacement teeth. Additionally, your dentist may recommend a bite splint to protect your teeth from chips or fractures caused by teeth grinding.
Why Dental Implants are a Better Option
Implants are preferred because they outlast traditional dentures and bridges, in addition to these other benefits:
- Look, feel, and function like your natural teeth
- Can replace one or multiple missing or damaged teeth
- Are permanent and won't slip out when speaking or chewing
- Enhance facial symmetry
- Preserve your jawbone
- Easy to care for, just like your natural teeth
While implants can cost more than dentures and bridges, they may turn out to be less costly in the long run. That's because dentures and bridges usually need replacing after 5-7 years.
Naturally Confident Smiles that Last
If dental implants sound right for you, then it’s time to let the qualified and experienced team at Ballas Dental help to permanently restore your smile.
Ready to learn more or schedule an appointment online? Call us today at 314-432-5544 or book an appointment online, and let us help you make your smile the best and most beautiful it can be!