How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Thinking about talking to a dental implant specialist in Colorado Springs, CO? You’ve come to the right place!

To help you make an informed decision, check out this short article to learn everything you need to know about dental implants, how long they last, and how to take care of them.

Dental Implant Process Overview

Here are the basic steps to getting dental implants:

  • Consultation: First, you will meet with a specialist to discuss your options and see if you’re a good candidate for implants. If you have enough bone mass, healthy gums, and no pre-existing conditions that could affect healing, then you’ll most likely be cleared for implants.
  • Surgery: A metal post, which is the artificial tooth’s root, will be surgically implanted into the jawbone.
  • Osseointegration: After the surgery, your body will start healing, and the bone and gums will fuse to the post to keep it in place. This process is called osseointegration, and it could take around six months on average.
  • Follow-up visits: Throughout healing, you will have some short follow-up appointments with your dentist to make sure everything is going smoothly.
  • Abutment placement and crown impression: Once you’re healed, the abutment is screwed over the metal post, and the dentist takes an impression of your tooth to make the custom crown.
  • Crown placement: It can take around 2 weeks or so for the crown to be ready. Once attached to the abutment, the restoration is complete. 

Dental Implant Average Lifespan

Dental implants are made from three distinct elements, and they each have their own lifespan:

  • Metal posts: Usually last a lifetime because they're protected by the bone. You’ll only need to replace it due to trauma or an infection, but these cases are rare.
  • Abutment: This piece also rarely needs replacing because it’s protected by the crown. However, it can suffer wear and tear and need replacing after 15–20 years in some cases.
  • Dental crown: This is the most vulnerable part of the implant and usually needs replacing once every 10–15 years, but with the right care, a crown can last longer.

How to Care for an Implant 

Here are some things to do to maintain your new dental implant:

  • Brush and floss your teeth daily
  • Wear a mouthguard if you grind your teeth
  • Avoid hard, sweet, and sticky foods
  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Don’t smoke
  • Cleanse the mouth after every meal and snack by drinking water or chewing sugar-free gum
  • Get routine dental cleanings every six months

Find Out If Dental Implants Are Right for You

If you’re wondering whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants, Dr. Paul Effinger can help you find out the definitive answer. 

Schedule a dental implant consultation at Alliance Family Dentistry and stop by to discover your options.

For more information, call our office at (719) 955-4023 for a short chat.