How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

A: When we place an implant in somebody’s mouth, in their jawbone, our goal is for that implant to be there forever. An implant is a titanium screw that is inserted into the jawbone and the bone grows around that implant.

That implant basically becomes part of that jawbone. Now, on top of that implant, we’re going to connect a dental prosthesis. A dental prosthesis can be done for one tooth or for all the teeth in the mouth.

It really depends on how well the patient takes care of the prosthesis. If they take care of them, don’t abuse them, and keep them nice and clean they can last a lifetime with the proper maintenance.

Now, when patients abuse the dental prosthesis and don’t take care of them, obviously they’re going to need to be replaced once in a while.

When you get dental implants in San Antonio you are making a fantastic investment into your smile. Additionally, that investment is fiscally significant, so you want to make sure it’s going to last right? That is often one of the top concerns from patients when considering dental implants.

The whole point of dental implants is to permanently replace your failing or missing teeth to restore your smile. So, they should last forever, right?

Well, in theory—yes, dental implants will last forever but not without proper oral care and maintenance. How is it possible that they can last a lifetime? Well, let’s dig deeper into what dental implants actually are and you’ll understand how.

What Are Dental Implants?

As Dr. Monarres briefly mentioned, dental implants are titanium posts used to support a dental prosthesis (crown). When you see billboards for dental implants in San Antonio, they are really referring to a complete package. You see, the actual dental implant is just the titanium post that’s inserted into the jawbone to bond. Those posts are what prevent your jawbone from disintegrating and changing your facial structure.

However, without a crown, you’d just have a mouth full of titanium posts. Good look for a Terminator, but not for the average person. So, you actually have three parts that make up the full restoration—the implant, the abutment, and the crown.

You already know that the implant is the titanium post that bonds to your jawbone. It is the anchor for the abutment which is attached to. The abutment is what holds the crown securely and prevents it from shifting. The crown itself is created by hand in a lab with a material called zirconia—it’s remarkably durable.

The crown is hand-painted with a permanent finish that is incredibly detailed even mimicking grooves in natural teeth. In fact, no one can tell that you have dental implants because they are that lifelike. The mind-blowing part is some dental implant procedures can be done in one day for an entire mouth of teeth.

Advantages Of Dental Implants In San Antonio

Dental implants offer so many advantages that other “replacement” options like dentures can’t match. Why? Because dentures aren’t replacements—they’re a cosmetic illusion. That’s why they’re often called falsies. Dental implants offer advantages such as:

  • Higher success rate than dentures
  • Maintain jawbone structure and density
  • Biting and chewing just like natural teeth—no slippage like with dentures
  • Feels natural, the function is natural
  • Doesn’t put stress on neighboring teeth
  • Easy to care for
  • Implants act like regular teeth
  • Lasts forever with proper care
  • They won’t decay
  • Preserve structure of the face and jawbone

With a list of benefits like that can there be any disadvantages? Well, yes and no. You see, the old saying goes, cheap ain’t good and good ain’t cheap. That applies with dental implants as well, but wait—it’s not as it seems.

Yes, dental implants are more costly initially, but you have to look beyond the numbers and initial investment. Dental implants last forever if you take care of them—so you get them once and that’s it.

With dentures, because the jawbone will continue to disintegrate, eventually your dentures won’t fit right anymore. With good dentures averaging about $5,000 and lasting on average about five years—that gets expensive. Over time, dentures can easily end up costing as much as dental implants in San Antonio. So, spend the same amount of money and deal with all the hassles of dentures? Doesn’t sound like a good deal does it?

How Can Dental Implants Last Forever?

Most patients don’t believe it when we tell them that they can have a smile that lasts forever with proper care. Not only that, but it will never decay as natural teeth will—it blows their mind. However, it’s true—if you care for your implants like regular teeth. What does proper dental care look like—it’s a simple routine.

  • Brush 2-3 times daily
  • Floss after every meal
  • Use mouthwash twice daily
  • Visit your dentist for cleanings and exams twice annually.

That’s it! It really is that simple. If you do that simple oral care routine you will have that perfect smile for the rest of your life. We know what you’re thinking though.

What If My Implants Fail Over Time Anyway?

Even with a proper oral care routine if you have some habits that are detrimental to natural teeth—they’ll affect implants too. Dr. Monarres rarely sees failure in someone with good health and no detrimental habits.

However, in patients that smoke, for example—there’s a higher failure rate. Also, patients that have cancer or diabetes may have some difficulties. Therefore it’s imperative to go through the free consultation with Dr. Monarres to discover possible obstacles.

A good prosthodontist will not perform dental implants on a patient who refuses to cease smoking before surgery. Additionally, they will refuse if a patient has diabetes that is out of control. The reason behind this is with both of those situations—healing is hindered significantly.

Nicotine use slows the body’s ability to heal itself and poorly managed diabetes is just as bad if not worse. If the implant site does not heal, then the implant will not securely bond and could come loose months or years later. That is referred to as implant failure, and in normal cases where the patient follows all pre and post-op care, it’s not an issue.

How to Avoid Dental Implant Failure

If you want to avoid dental implant failure but there are some other practices to consider making a habit as well. We’ve discussed oral hygiene, which is a given as it’s kind of obvious to do that. Besides, who doesn’t brush their teeth? Consider these factors though that you might not have thought about before reading today:

  • How You Use Your Teeth: Don’t use your mouth to open bottles. Sounds crazy, but we’ve had to say it because it happens more than you think. Seriously though, your teeth should only be used to chew food, not as a tool.
  • The Implant Quality And The Surgeon: Do you really want someone who’s only done a handful of implants before? No? Of course not—this is a no-brainer. Dr. Monarres has performed well over 2,500 dental implant procedures. His success rate is well over 98% and the testimonials speak for themselves.
  • Your General Health And Habits: Heavy drinkers and smokers run a far greater risk of implant failure. If you want it to be a success, stop smoking for 3 months before surgery and at least 3 months after.

Get The Best Dental Implants In San Antonio

Your dental implants should be something you are 100% elated with because they will be with you for a lifetime. Give yourself the benefit of the best prosthodontists in the Southwest and come see Dr. Monarres at Stone Ridge Dental.

Contact us today and we can book you a free consultation for your new smile!

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