Lifespan Of Dental Implants | How to make them last longer?

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Average Life Expectancy of Dental Implants, Factors Impacting Lifespan of Dental Implants, Tips for Increasing the Lifespan of Dental ImplantsMillions of American adults are missing at least one tooth- many of those are missing most or all of their teeth. This can lead to many oral and overall health issues, which is why so many patients seek tooth replacement options.

One of the most popular options at Springhill Dental Health Center in Mobile, AL is dental implants because they look, feel, and function more like natural teeth. Traditional implants are made up of three parts:

  • Implant screw: inserted in the jawbone like a tooth root
  • Abutment: secures the crown/prosthesis to the implant screw
  • Crown/prosthesis: artificial tooth that sits on top of the gum line

The implant screw should last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. The crown or prosthesis may need to be replaced after about 20 years- but may last longer, depending on your care/maintenance and lifestyle habits.

In this article, we’ll explain more about the life expectancy of dental implants and the factors that impact that lifespan. We will also offer some tips for increasing the lifespan of your dental implants.

Average Life Expectancy of Dental Implants

Dental implants are placed in the jawbone, which heals around and fuses with the implant to create a stable base for a dental crown, bridge, or overdenture. On average, implants have a 90 to 95% success rate for healthy patients over a period of 10+ years.

Factors Impacting Lifespan of Dental Implants

While implants are designed to be a long-lasting solution, it is possible for an implant to fail. There are several things that can impact the lifespan of dental implants, including:

  •  Improper oral hygiene habits

    Dental implants require proper care and maintenance. This includes brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste, flossing at least once daily, and visiting the dentist twice yearly for an exam and cleaning.

  • Inexperienced surgeon performing the procedure

    The procedure for placing dental implants requires a certain level of expertise. If a surgeon doesn’t know how to properly place the implants, they may not heal properly, which could lead to failure.

  • Inadequate bone density

    Traditional implants are inserted directly into the jawbone. This means that the jawbone should be healthy and dense enough to accommodate them.

  • Smoking

    Dental implants have an 11% risk of failure in patients who smoke. This is because smoking can interfere with blood flow which impacts healing. In addition, smoking increases a patient’s risk of developing gum disease.

  • Bruxism

    Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can increase the risk of implant failure because it can cause the implant to shift or can cause the implant screw or the crown to fracture.

  • Age

    While there is no upper age limit on implants, older patients are more likely to have underlying health conditions, which can impact oral health.

  • Underlying health conditions

    Certain health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and others can increase the risk of implant failure.

  • Medications and medical treatments

    If you’ve undergone radiation therapy or if you are taking immunosuppressants or blood thinners, you are at an increased risk of implant failure.

Types of Dental Implants

There are two types of implants:

  • Traditional
  • Mini

Mini implants sit on top of or above the jawbone, while traditional implants are inserted into the jawbone. Since traditional implants have the support of the jawbone, they tend to have a higher life expectancy.

Tips for Increasing the Lifespan of Dental Implants

Some of the common signs of dental implant failure include:

  • Extreme pain/discomfort
  • Inflamed gums
  • Receding gums
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Loosening of the implant or the prosthetic tooth
  • Swelling

While you can’t always prevent implant failure, there are a few things you can do to improve the life expectancy of your dental implants, including:

  • Brush twice daily, floss at least once, and use an alcohol-free mouthwash
  • Visit the dentist every 6 months- and any time in between if a problem arises
  • Increase the amount of calcium you are consuming
  • Ask about using a mouthguard to protect your teeth during contact sports, or a nightguard to protect against nighttime bruxism
  • Allow the implant time to heal before having your prosthesis placed
  • Avoid non-food items (biting fingernails, chewing on pens/pencils)
  • Avoid crunching on hard foods (ice, hard candies, popcorn)
  • Stop smoking

Schedule Your Dental Implant Consultation with Dr. Byron Scott

If you are missing one or more teeth, you may want to consider dental implants to replace the functionality and improve the aesthetics of your smile. Dr. Scott at Springhill Dental Health Center has served the residents of Mobile, AL since 1977. He is highly trained and accomplished in many areas of dentistry, including dental implants. Schedule your consultation today to learn more about replacing your missing teeth with dental implants.

If your dental implants start to fail, the process may be reversible if caught early. However, in most cases, the implant will need to be removed and you will have to take the time to heal before new implants can be placed. Research shows that if a new implant can be placed the success rate is around 71%.

Unfortunately, in some cases, once implants have failed, a patient is no longer eligible for implants and will need to choose a different replacement option. Other options include full or partial conventional dentures or a dental bridge.

Check Out Our Related Articles on Dental Implants -

What our Patients say about us


My visit was incredible. I had my “All on Four” appliances cleaned, and it was a painless and thorough experience. Dr. Scott and all his staff are very friendly. During the cleaning, Mary was gentle and let me know everything she was doing and how it would feel. She gave me tips on how to clean my implants/appliances better and gave me a small brush to do the underside more effectively. Dr. Scott and Mary suggest cleanings take place every 3 months so I will be back in December.

Bette D.
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Meet Dr. Byron C. Scott

Dr. Byron Scott is a highly-trained and accomplished dentist. He attended The University of Alabama School of Dentistry and subsequently completed numerous Advanced Studies and Trainings. Dr. Scott is Board-Certified by The Academy of General Dentistry and has earned Mastership status (MAGD), an honor shared by only 1% of dentists. He has numerous memberships and associations, including Diplomate status with The American Board of Oral Implantology (D-ABOI) and The International Congress of Oral Implantologists (D-ICOI). Overall, Dr. Scott has dedicated his life and career to helping patients improve their oral health through expert dentistry. His goal is to help each patient keep their smile healthy, attractive, and comfortable for the duration of their lifetime.

Learn More About Dr. Scott
Springhill Dental Health Center

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