If you have missing or damaged teeth, you may feel self-conscious about your smile. In your search for solutions, you have likely come across dental implants. In this blog, we navigate you through the ins and outs of dental implants. Here’s a list of frequently asked questions we answer:

  1. What are tooth implants?
  2. How much do dental implants cost?
  3. How long do dental implants last?
  4. What factors influence the longevity of implants (dental)?

By the end, you’ll better understand this long-lasting tooth replacement option. Let’s start by giving you a brief overview of tooth implants before we discuss the specifics.

What Are Tooth Implants?

Tooth implants, also known as dental implants, offer a durable and permanent solution for replacing missing or damaged teeth. Unlike traditional dentures or bridges, implants (dental) provide a stable foundation for artificial teeth, mimicking the look, feel, and function of natural teeth.

At its core, a tooth implant is a small, titanium post surgically inserted into the jawbone, serving as a substitute for a natural tooth root. Over time, this post fuses with the bone, a process known as osseointegration, creating a secure and lasting bond. 

Once the implant has fully integrated with the jawbone, an abutment attaches a crown to the top of the implant. The crown is the visible part of the dental implant that looks like a real tooth. Crowns are custom-made to match the size, shape, and color of your natural teeth, ensuring a cohesive smile.

This process not only restores the aesthetic appearance of your smile but also preserves jawbone health and prevents the bone loss that often accompanies tooth loss.

How Much Is a Tooth Implant?

Dental implants cost differently for each person because the treatment can vary widely depending on several factors:

  • Number of implants 
  • Materials used
  • Complexity of the dental implant procedure
  • Geographic location of the dental office
  • Additional procedures required

Considering these factors, the cost of implants (dental) can range from one thousand to several thousand dollars per implant. While the upfront price may seem high, the longevity and benefits of tooth implants often justify the investment. Now, let’s discuss the primary question this blog is about: how long do dental implants last?

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Are implants permanent? A dental implant is designed to be a permanent fixture in your mouth, lasting typically 30+ years. Typically, no other tooth replacement option can last that long, making dental implants the best solution for missing teeth

So, do dental implants last forever? In some cases, yes; tooth implants may last for the rest of your life. The success rate of dental implants is high (90%–95%), but like any medical or dental procedure, the longevity of a tooth implant is influenced by several factors, which we’ll discuss next.

Factors That Influence How Long Do Implants Last

Along with following their dentist’s recommendations, patients must understand and address these variables to ensure their dental implants last as long as possible. 

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is foundational to the health of both natural and artificial teeth. Regular brushing and flossing remove plaque and bacteria that can lead to gum disease and infections around the implant site, such as peri-implantitis—a condition similar to periodontal disease that affects the tissues around the implant. This condition can cause bone loss around the implant, leading to its instability and potential failure. Maintaining a diligent oral hygiene routine is necessary to preserve the health of the dental implant and the surrounding tissues.

Maintenance and Follow-Up Care

Routine dental check-ups allow for professional cleaning of areas that are difficult to reach with manual brushing and flossing alone. Regular dental exams allow dentists to monitor the implant and surrounding tissues for any signs of trouble. Early detection and treatment of potential issues are key to preventing complications that could jeopardize the implant. Prompt attention to any discomfort, loosening, or other changes around the implant site can help address problems before they become serious.

Lifestyle Choices

Lifestyle choices, particularly smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, can significantly impact the healing process and the stability of dental implants. Smoking restricts blood flow to the gums, hindering the body’s ability to heal and maintain the tissue around the implant. This can increase the risk of infection and implant failure. Excessive alcohol consumption can also affect healing and might contribute to poor oral hygiene practices. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including quitting smoking and moderating alcohol intake, can greatly improve the success rate of dental implants.

Bone Quantity and Quality

The success of a dental implant is heavily dependent on the quantity and quality of the jawbone. Conditions such as osteoporosis, which leads to bone density loss, can compromise the implant’s stability. Similarly, insufficient bone volume can make it difficult for the implant to integrate correctly, leading to a higher risk of failure. In some cases, bone grafting procedures may be necessary to augment the jawbone before implant placement, ensuring proper support for the implant.

Personal Health and Age

A patient’s overall health and age at the time of implant placement are significant factors in the success of dental implants. Younger patients may experience changes in their oral structures over time, which can affect the implant. Meanwhile, older patients may have health conditions like diabetes, which can impair healing and increase the risk of implant failure. Patients must manage any underlying health conditions and maintain good overall health to support the longevity of their dental implants.

Dental Implant Material

The materials used for both the implant post and the crown are critical to their durability. Titanium, the material most commonly used for the implant post, is known for its strength, durability, and biocompatibility, allowing it to integrate well with the jawbone. However, the crown may not last as long since it’s exposed to the daily wear and tear of chewing, biting, and potential grinding. Advances in materials for crowns offer improved durability and aesthetics but still require careful maintenance to maximize their lifespan. 

Your Tooth Implant Specialists in Richmond, VA

At Northside Dental Co., we understand that investing in dental implants is a significant decision that impacts not just your oral health, but your quality of life. That’s why we’re dedicated to educating our patients and providing comprehensive, cutting-edge care every step of the way. 

Our welcoming, modern, and patient-centered approach is transforming traditional dental care. From your initial consultation to post-treatment follow-ups, we ensure you have a five-star experience

To learn more about whether dental implants are right for you, take the next step towards a more confident smile by booking an appointment online today. We look forward to meeting you!