How long do dental implants last?
If you have lost or damaged any of your teeth, your dentist may recommend you get dental implants.
But a question we are frequently asked here at Didsbury Dental Practice is this: how long do dental implants last?
In this blog article, we will explain the key facts about dental implants and hopefully answer any questions you may have.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant offers a way to restore missing or damaged teeth with a permanent, natural-looking solution. The process involves inserting a durable titanium screw into the jawbone, which replaces the missing tooth root.
It is then intended to fuse with the bone in the jaw over time to act the same way the original root would have. The small screw can then have a crown, bridge, or denture securely attached for a natural-looking finish.
With the titanium screw intended to remain in the jaw, the idea is that you will then need to have the external crown, denture, or bridge replaced at least every 15-20 years for optimal performance.
Even with the best quality materials, natural wear and tear are entirely normal, so this is nothing to be concerned about. The more care and attention are given to your replacement teeth, the longer they will last (just like your real ones!).
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are an excellent, long-lasting dental treatment.
On average, dental implants last between 15 to 20 years, showing the long-term use you can get out of them.
However, there are factors which affect the lifespan of dental implants.
To get the best use out of your dental implants:
- Always take good care of your teeth and gums.
- Maintain a good oral hygiene routine.
- Visit your dentist for regular check-ups, so they can monitor the condition of your teeth and identify any problems quicker.
- Smoking can decrease the lifespan of your dental implants.
- Avoid doing any actions that can cause trauma to the teeth and gums (e.g. using your teeth to open glass bottles).
- If you participate in contact sports, wear a mouthguard or gum shield, to provide protection for the gums, and to minimise the impact of blunt force on the teeth.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants are designed to restore any lost confidence and provide you with a permanent solution to ongoing dental issues.
Once the implants are healed, and you can apply normal pressure to them, you should notice no difference compared to having the original tooth in place.
Dental implants can:
- Restore your smile.
- Enhance your self-confidence.
- Repair strength in your jaw.
- Be a cost-effective solution to tooth loss
- Prevent further bone loss
- Support neighbouring teeth and your long-term oral health.
- Support bone health.
Where can I get dental implants in Manchester? How much do dental implants cost?
Instead of paying out for new dentures or replacement semi-permanent solutions, a dental implant acts as a natural addition to your jaw.
Are dental implants painful?
Installing dental implants is a safe treatment. The procedure should not involve any pain, as your dentist will numb the mouth using local anaesthetic.
Patients may experience discomfort during the healing process, but this is no different from any other procedure. You can take over-the-counter painkillers to manage this, and you should follow the aftercare tips that your dentist will provide.
Click here to read our blog article on ‘Are dental implants painful?’
Can you eat with dental implants on?
Yes, you can eat and drink while you are wearing dental implants.
After getting dental implants, it may take a few days to adjust to the feeling of eating and drinking. So, a soft food diet will avoid putting too much pressure on your teeth and help your gums heal faster.
Choose foods that are easy to chew, like soups, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs and yoghurt.
You should avoid hard, crunchy and sticky foods like carrot sticks and apples. These foods can get stuck in your teeth, which may cause you discomfort and pain.
You may also find it helpful to avoid really hot drinks and spicy and sticky foods.
You should also avoid acidic and sugary drinks, as these can encourage bacteria and plaque.
What happens at a dental implant consultation appointment?
During your consultation appointment for dental implants, your dentist will provide all the information you need to know. They will assess your teeth and gums and consider the following:
- Your gum health
- Your overall health
- Your desire to replace missing teeth
- Whether you are ready to undergo the dental implant installation procedure
If you are particularly young, the dentist may need to evaluate your bone development, to check that the jawbone has fully matured. So, you may require an X-ray as part of your consultation assessment.
If your jawbone has not fully matured, you may be considered too young for dental implants, so you will have to wait sometime before you can get them fitted.
Are dental implants worth it?
We at Didsbury Dental Practice believe dental implants are worth the investment. They are one of the best treatment options to permanently replace a missing or damaged tooth.
Aesthetically pleasing, dental implants also look really natural and realistic- it is hard to distinguish dental implants from existing teeth!
Also, dental implants are cost-effective, and if you want to know how long do dental implants last, then the answer is: they can last you a lifetime if you take good care of them.
Dental implants can also improve your speech and chewing, and greatly enhance your self-esteem. No need to worry about hiding any teeth gaps while you are out in public- dental implants are the solution.
An incredibly low-maintenance treatment option, dental implants don’t need to be removed, like dentures, so they are more convenient for everyday life.
Dental implants are a fantastic tool to aid your oral health- they prevent jawbone deterioration and reduce or eliminate bone atrophy, which causes ‘shrinkage’ or facial cosmetic changes.
Another added bonus is that dental implants do not require sticky denture adhesives (which are used to get dentures to stay perfectly in place on the gum line).
As you can see, dental implants offer a whole host of benefits- they are the ideal permanent solution for tooth loss.
When are dental implants not an option?
There are a few occasions where patients may not qualify for dental implants, which include:
- Patients who don’t have enough jawbone to support dental implants.
- Patients who are limited in their ability to practice good oral hygiene.
- Patients who have an illness which can affect the success of an implant (e.g. persistent gum disease, alcoholism, or cancer).
If you do not qualify for dental implants, your dentist will be able to advise you on alternative treatment options.
How do I take care of myself when I have dental implants?
After getting dental implants, you should take great care to look after your teeth and gums. Follow our tips below to practise a good oral hygiene routine:
- Do not eat until the local anaesthetic has worn off.
- Avoid eating hard, crunchy and sticky foods and stick to a soft food diet for a few days, until you get used to the feeling of the dental implants.
- Do not smoke until the wound has healed.
- Floss daily.
- Use mouthwash to keep your mouth fresh and healthy.
- Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups.
- If you experience severe pain, discomfort, swelling or bleeding in your mouth, make an emergency dentist appointment as soon as possible or use the NHS 111 service.
What is better, dental implants or dentures?
Both dental implants and dentures (false teeth) bring their own strengths.
- Dentures need to be replaced in a few years, whereas implants can last a lifetime.
- Dentures tend to be cheaper than implants.
- Implants are easier to manage, as they don’t need to be cleaned every night as dentures require.
- But some patients prefer dentures, as these can be removed overnight.
Your dentist will advise you on which is the best treatment option for you.
Whichever treatment option you go for, you will be in safe hands at Didsbury Dental Practice.
What is the average age of patients with dental implants?
Dental implants are not just designed for elderly people.
They can be worn as young as 18 years old, but it is usually best for patients to wait until they reach their twenties to be considered for dental implants.
Your dentist will advise you when is the best time for dental implants and the best treatment plan for your needs.
We hope we have provided the answer to the question ‘how long do dental implants last?’
To find out more about Didsbury Dental Practice, visit our website here.
If you need an emergency appointment, visit our webpage on our emergency dental treatment here or call our dental emergency helpline on 0161 413 2835. Alternatively, walk into the practice and we will aim to see you as soon as possible.
Visit our blog to read more articles on dental health.