One of the biggest questions people have about dental implants is how long they last. The truth is that nobody really knows for sure. However, the current studies show great survival rates of up to 30 years – and with anecdotal evidence of survival for up to 50 years – we believe that dental implants can last forever.
However, just because implants can last forever, it doesn’t mean they will. There are things you can do to help make sure you get the longest-lasting dental implants possible. You can start by talking to Columbus implant dentist Dr. Mike Firouzian about your dental implant options.
20-Year Studies of Dental Implant Survival
There are multiple studies looking at the 20-year survival of dental implants. One of these studies shows the difficulty of making these long-term studies of dental implants. This study originally had 48 participants. However, 19 died before the chosen follow-up period. Among the surviving 29 patients, dental implants had a 99% survival rate.
However, another 20-year study showed a much lower survival rate. In this study, 67 patients with 95 implants received a comprehensive evaluation of their implants. The overall survival rate was 90%. However, there were some complications that made researchers state the overall “success rate” was 76%.
Perhaps the best sense of how long dental implants last comes from a huge, long-term dental implant study. In this study, researchers looked at the 20-year survival of more than 12,700 dental implants placed in over 4,200 patients. However, relatively few of the implants were in place for the full 20 years, so researchers calculated their survival rates based on a 17-year cycle. This study demonstrated a 17-year survival rate of about 93%. Because of the size and length of this study, it’s our best estimate of dental implant longevity.
Dental Implants Can Last Longer Than 30 Years
However, we also want to highlight the results of a 30-year study of dental implant survival. Although this study is long, the population is small: just 28 implants supporting dentures.
In this study, the dental implant survival rate was 100%. Although we obviously can’t say that 100% of implants will last 30 years, it does show us that it’s not unreasonable to believe that implants might last well beyond 30 years.
There is some anecdotal evidence to support this. The first person to get dental implants had them for more than 40 years before he passed away with his implants still in place and functional. The second person to get dental implants had them for more than 50 years.
With a current US life expectancy of 77 years, anyone who gets dental implants in their mid-20s has a reasonable chance of having their implants for life.
How Long Do Dental Implant Restorations Last?
Unfortunately, we have much less data to support the longevity of dental crowns and bridges atop dental implants. Multiple 5-year studies suggest a 98% survival rate for dental crowns over this short period.
However, when the follow-up period increases to over 10 years, the survival rate of dental crowns drops to about 90%.
It’s worth noting, however, that the 30-year dental implant study also looked at the survival rate of its dentures. These dentures had an 80% survival rate over 30 years, with 21 repairs and 19 adjustments required over the decades, an average of about one repair or adjustment every 4 denture years.
How to Extend Your Dental Implant’s Life
So how can patients in Columbus help their dental implants last as long as possible? Here are some tips that can help.
Choose Your Implant Dentist Carefully
There are a lot of implant dentists in Columbus, so finding the best one for you might seem like a daunting task. The thought of visiting websites for so many dentists, looking carefully at before-and-after images, and reading reviews can seem overwhelming – and time-consuming. But, it’s well worth it because nothing will make more of a difference in your dental implant procedure than your choice of implant dentist.
With the choice of the right implant dentist, your dental implant might last decades – even the rest of your life. But if you make the wrong choice, you might find yourself looking for a new implant dentist in a year or less.
If you don’t put in the time to find the best Columbus implant dentist, you will have to do it again.
Choose a Quality Dental Restoration
If you want your dental restorations to last as long as possible, invest in quality. Well-designed restorations are more likely to last decades, compared to those that are poorly made. Once you have chosen your Columbus implant dentist, talk to them about the restoration that is best for you in terms of function, appearance, and longevity.
Take Care of Your Dental Implants
Caring for dental implants is relatively easy. However, you have to do it properly to make sure your implants are going to last as long as possible. Care for your implants similar to the way you do natural teeth: brush twice a day, floss daily, and make regular dental checkups. If you are at high risk for dental implant failure, your dentist may recommend more than two checkups per year. If your regular dentist is not your implant dentist, make sure they know you have dental implants so they use appropriate tools and methods for your cleanings.
Make sure you are brushing and flossing your implants effectively. You might need to upgrade your flossing tools to a different type of floss, an interdental cleaner, or a water flosser to clean effectively. Monitor the health of your implants. If you notice redness, tenderness, swelling, discharge, or loose implants, contact your dentist immediately.
Get Long-Lasting Dental Implants in Columbus, OH
If you are looking for dental implants in Columbus, OH that are going to last, please call (614) 848-5001 for an appointment with Dr. Mike Firouzian at Firouzian Dentistry in the Crosswoods neighborhood of Columbus.