How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

With a 95 percent success rate, dental implants are a good choice for many people who are missing a tooth and want a long-term replacement that looks and feels like a natural tooth.

Dental implants don't last forever, but they can last 15 to 25 years or more depending on your oral hygiene, general lifestyle habits, and where the implant is located.

Factors That Affect Implant Lifespan

Oral Hygiene

The better you take care of your dental implant, the longer it will last. One reason many patients opt for implants to replace missing teeth is how easy they are to take care of. Though your implant won't decay like a natural tooth, you should still brush it with a soft-bristled toothbrush and low-abrasive toothpaste. 

Floss between your implant and the adjacent tooth the same way you floss between two natural teeth — by moving the floss back and forth in a C shape around the inside of the tooth.

Lifestyle and Habits

Abstaining from smoking and drinking alcohol will serve you well in many health-related ways, but it also helps your dental implants last longer. Don't smoke or drink heavily before or after your implant placement to maximize the implant's lifespan.

If you bite pens or other hard objects or chew ice, work on breaking the habit to protect your dental implant. The crown could chip or fracture if you bite down too hard. Ask your dentist to recommend a mouth guard if you grind your teeth at night.

Implant Location

Dental implants near the back of the mouth often wear out more quickly than ones near the front of the mouth. This is due to the increased pressure the back teeth are under when you chew your food.

Implant Failure 

Though dental implants are usually successful and cause no complications, some do fail. Your body produces new bone cells to grow around the metal implant body inside your jawbone and secure it in place. If this bone growth doesn't happen correctly, the implant might not ever secure itself into the jaw.

Failing implants can cause pain, swelling, and infection in your gums or jaw. Your implant might feel moveable or loose if it's not securely attached to your jawbone.

See your dentist as soon as possible if you experience any symptoms of implant failure. Some failing implants can be saved with prompt treatment.

If you have a damaged or missing tooth, it's best to replace it as soon as possible. Make an appointment with your dentist to discuss your treatment options, including getting a dental implant.