senior man smiling with teeth

If you are considering dental implants, you might be wondering how long they might last. Are they a good long-term investment? The answer is: yes! Dental implants are a great long-term investment. Dental implants are likely to last 15-20 years, and with proper care they have a good chance of lasting you a lifetime. 

Although dental implants are generally very successful, your implant dentist makes a difference. The Detroit implant dentists at Rochester Advanced Dentistry can help you get great results from your dental implants. 

Dental Implant Lifetimes: What the Science Says

Dentists have been placing implants for more than 50 years now (though not as long in the US), and we have good information about the long-term benefits of the procedure. In particular, we have two very large studies on the long-term survival of dental implants. 

The first is a 20-year study based on the survival rates of implants from a single manufacturer. This study of more than 12,500 dental implants showed the 17-year survival rate of dental implants was 93%

A very recent study from 2021 looks at the survival rate of implants placed by a single periodontist over 24 years. Remarkably, it includes nearly 11,000 dental implants placed in more than 4200 patients. This study gives very similar results, showing that the 15-year survival rate of dental implants was 94%

Even with the more than 33,000 dental implants considered, we understand if you might want more corroboration from additional studies. The good news is that we have many more studies to draw from. One of the earliest long-term studies of dental implants, published in 2008, started with 48 patients, but at 20-year follow-up, 19 of the patients had died. This highlights the challenge of long-term dental implant studies: implants often outlive patients. For example, the first dental implant patient died with his implants in place more than 40 years after surgery. However, the surviving implant patients had a remarkable performance from their implants: a more than 99% survival rate

Another early 20-year implant study from 2013 gives a more sober estimate of implant survival: 90%

It’s also worth considering that a small study of implant survival showed a 100% survival rate after 30 years!

Dental Implant Restorations May Not Last as Long

It’s important to remember that your dental implants are made of multiple parts. The dental implant serves as an artificial tooth root. This is topped by a restoration, such as a dental crown, bridge, or denture that replaces the visible part of the tooth, the crown. These two parts are usually attached by a connector piece called an abutment. All the above survival studies tell us about the tooth root part, the implant itself. There is much less data about the restoration, and what there is indicates a shorter lifespan. 

In a review of studies on implant-supported dental crowns, studies indicate a 98% survival rate over the first five years. Not bad, but it’s not that long. 

On the other hand, a study of dental crowns at 10 years showed a survival rate of 90%. This is still relatively good, but it shows that the survival rate for dental crowns drops faster than for dental implants. 

Notably, in the 30-year study of dental implants, while the implant survival rate was 100%, the survival rate of dentures on the implants was only 80%. 

When you get dental implants, you can expect the implant might last for your entire life. However, you might have to replace the restoration on the implant or implants every 10-15 years. This is similar to the rate of replacing crowns on natural teeth. 

How to Extend the Life of Your Dental Implants

If you want to make your implants a great investment, there are things you can do to extend their lifespan. To improve the longevity of your dental implants, you should consider the following:

  • Quitting damaging habits
  • Taking care of your dental implants
  • Choosing quality implants and restorations
  • Choosing a quality implant dentist

Like your natural teeth, dental implants are affected by some of your lifestyle choices. In particular, numerous studies show that smoking increases your risk of dental implant failure. For example, in the 2021 study cited above, smoking doubled the risk of dental implant failure. 

Along similar lines, your dental implants are vulnerable to oral health problems. Although your implants won’t develop cavities, gum disease is the leading cause of dental implant failure. Brush and floss your implants as recommended by your dentist, and make your regular dental checkups. 

The quality of your dental implants may impact their survival rate. In particular, short and narrow implants may be cheaper, but they may also increase the risk of implant failure. Don’t take the risk just to save money. 

Finally, your implant dentist may also make a difference in your results. Experienced implant dentists have a higher success rate than dentists who are still learning the procedure. Talk to your Detroit implant dentist about their experience before agreeing to get implants. 

Long-Lasting Dental Implants in Detroit

If you are looking for quality dental implants that can last you a long time, maybe even a lifetime, please talk to the Detroit implant dentists at Rochester Advanced Dentistry. They can evaluate your oral health and help you decide on the best implants that will likely last for you. 

Please call (248) 656-2020 or use our online form to request an appointment at Rochester Advanced Dentistry today.