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Medically Reviewed By Periodontal & Implant Surgeons of Houston
16 October 2023
Home » Dental Implants » How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

The dental implant process from start to finish can take about six months, depending on your needs. So, you may wonder whether dental implants are worth it—if they are a reliable long-term solution for replacing missing teeth. We will explain how long dental implants last and how to keep them healthy.

How Long Can Your Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants permanently complete your smile and can last for decades. A May 2019 Journal of Dentistry article reviewed 18 dental implant longevity studies, finding a ten-year average survival rate of 96.4 percent. Other studies show that this form of tooth replacement can last even longer.

What Affects Dental Implant Longevity?

Physical health, hygiene habits, and lifestyle can affect how long dental implants last. Consider ways to support a positive outcome immediately after surgery and throughout your lifetime.

Immediately After Dental Implant Surgery

Follow your doctor’s postsurgical instructions to promote healing. Diligence in the following areas can help you enjoy your dental implants for many years:

  • Hygiene – Your surgeon will provide instructions for cleaning your mouth with oral rinses immediately after surgery and then brushing your teeth without disturbing the surgical sites.
  • Eating – A well-balanced diet is essential to healing. Follow your surgeon’s instructions closely for progressing from liquids to a soft-food diet.
  • Lifestyle – Avoid smoking and other tobacco products to support blood flow and healthy oral tissues for healing.

During Your Recovery and Throughout Your Lifetime

Although your gums and dental implants may look and feel fine during your months of healing, your oral hygiene routine can keep the progress on track. Even after your jawbone and replacement teeth fuse, the following habits support long-term oral health:

  • Maintain a daily hygiene routine – Brush and floss at least twice daily to remove bacteria and plaque around your natural teeth and dental implants.
  • Eat nutritious foods – Eat healthy soft foods until your jawbone and dental implants fuse. Afterward, you can enjoy your favorite foods again.
  • Schedule regular dental cleanings and exams – Your dental team thoroughly removes plaque and tartar buildup in areas that flossing and brushing cannot reach. Dental exams can detect concerns with dental implants and surrounding tissue and bone.
  • Be alert to signs of gum disease – Peri-implantitis, an infection of the gum and bone around a dental implant, is a leading cause of dental implant failure. Early signs of gum disease include tenderness, swelling, or bleeding, especially when flossing. Your oral health professionals can help you regain control of your gum disease to protect your dental implants.

Maximizing the Longevity of Dental Implants

Dental implants can last ten years or longer. However, peri-implantitis and failing to follow your surgeon’s recovery guidelines can cause dental implants to fail. You can protect your replacement teeth by following postsurgical instructions, practicing thorough oral hygiene, and scheduling regular dental cleanings and exams. The team at Periodontal and Implant Surgeons of Houston comprises board-certified periodontal surgeons and prosthodontists who provide trustworthy answers to questions about dental implants. Learn more about the benefits of the procedure.