If you end up missing teeth for any reason, you have various options to restore your smile and improve functionality. One of those options is dental implants.
Dental implants are a great artificial tooth replacement option that look and function like artificial teeth. But before you decide on whether implants are the best choice, you need to understand what dental implants entail, including knowing how long they last.
In this article, we’ll answer the question of “how long do dental implants last?” and give you all the information you need to decide whether dental implants are for you.
What Are Dental Implants?
Let’s start with a refresher on what dental implants are.
Dental implants are replacement teeth for your natural teeth that may have fallen out or been extracted. Your natural tooth could be missing for one or more of the following reasons:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Physical injury
No matter the reason for missing teeth, tooth implants may be a viable solution to repair your smile and oral health and improve the functionality of your teeth.
Dental Implants Process
Dental implants have two main components: the post and the artificial tooth.
The post or implant screw is usually made of titanium, and the artificial tooth may be made of various materials. The implant screw integrates into your jawbone and seals itself into your gums to hold the artificial tooth in place. They are held together using an abutment.
The actual process of getting dental implants takes multiple appointments. The process typically takes anywhere from six months to a year. The treatment itself, however, lasts between one and two hours.
The process starts with a consultation with your dentist to assess your teeth as they currently are. You must do this before considering dental implant surgery if you don’t yet have the problematic tooth extracted.
You’ll then have multiple appointments for fittings and measurements, as your artificial tooth will need to be made to fit your mouth.
The last part of the dental implant procedure is the installation of the replacement tooth. This may be split into two appointments — one appointment to drill the hole in your jaw bone, at which point the dentist may add a temporary dental crown implant, then an appointment to install your real implant. Since your jawbone needs time to heal, there may be several months between the two appointments.
Now that you understand the process, let’s discuss dental implants benefits.
Why Consider Dental Implants?
There are various benefits to choosing dental implants to replace missing teeth. The top three benefits are:
- No risk of decaying tooth
- Prevent further shifting of teeth
- Have your mouth feeling back to normal
Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits.
Artificial Teeth Won’t Decay
One benefit of dental implants that dentists emphasize is that artificial teeth won’t decay.
While you may experience some wear and tear, you don’t need to worry about damage to the extent that you would experience with natural teeth or through the gap where your missing tooth is, where food can easily get trapped.
Nonetheless, it’s still essential to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent food from getting stuck beneath your artificial tooth and affecting your gums.
Other Teeth Won’t Shift
Your dental implant won’t just benefit the place where you have your missing tooth; it’ll benefit your whole mouth.
A gap caused by a missing tooth can lead to the surrounding teeth shifting away from their natural positions. This affects the appearance of your teeth and can also reduce their functionality and cause problems biting and chewing your food.
The longer you keep this gap, the more difficult it becomes to put in an implant and correct the position of your teeth. Getting dental implants early keeps your teeth aligned and prevents other dental problems from developing.
Feel Back to Normal
Your implant will feel different from your other natural teeth, but they’ll still function the same, making you feel back to normal.
For example, it’s hard to chew without all of your teeth. Dental implants restore your full chewing power, making it easier to break down your food and leading to better digestion. It also makes brushing and flossing easier.
All of these benefits lead to dental implants being a good choice. However, one of the top benefits of dental implants is how long they last. Let’s answer the question, “how long do dental implants last?”
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
One of the most beneficial factors of dental implants is how long they last, which is a very long time. With proper care, your dental implants can last a lifetime.
That said, you should get the crown or bridge of the implant replaced every 5 to 10 years. The good news is that the implant (post) itself lasts much longer.
To ensure that they are always in good shape and that your dentist catches problems as soon as they arise, you should check your implants regularly.
Another critical thing to note is that the price of dental implants varies based on several factors, including:
- Your region
- The severity of your affected teeth
- Your dentist’s usual fees
Although it is one of the costlier dental treatments you can get, considering how long they last and their benefits, it’s easy to see the worth of dental implant treatment.
Better yet, many insurance plans cover at least part of the cost of dental implants, so you may not even have to pay out of pocket!
Conclusion: Are Dental Implants For You?
Hopefully, this article has answered “how long do dental implants last” and any other questions you might have about dental implant surgery to help you decide whether they’re right for you.
If you want to talk further, get in touch with You Make Me Smile today.