How long do Dental Implants last?

Two of the major questions that people ask when it comes to dental implants is, “What is the long-term success rate?” and “How long will they last?”.

The simply answer to the long-term success rate of dental implants are that dental implants can fail, but fortunately very infrequently. Failure rates vary depending on the site in the mouth, whether they are placed into natural or grafted bone and whether the patient smokes. The overall success rates in natural bone is 95%, though this falls to between 85 and 90% in grafted bone. If a patient smokes it has been shown that they are statistically two and a half times more likely to have an implant fail than a non-smoker.

As to the longevity of dental implants, honestly at the present time we cannot answer this question. However, according to various resources , Gösta Larsson was the first patient who had dental implants placed. The implants were placed in 1965, and Mr. Larsson still had the original implants in function until his death in 2006. So the implants lasted for 40 years!

With that being said, undoubtedly, the best steps to take avoid encountering ailing or failing dental implants are to maintain meticulous oral hygiene, and evaluate the dental implant both clinically and radiographically at frequent recall visits with your dentist.

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37 thoughts on “How long do Dental Implants last?

  1. I went to Dr in PA. I had teeth in a day for all my upper and lower jaw, It has been three months and I have not had one single problem
    everything seems to be doing fine. nothing hurts they seem preety sturdy and I try to keep then as clean as possible, so far the dentist thinks I am doing great, in December I will have my permanents
    put in. I am extremly happy. Do you think I will have problems in the future, a dentist I had went to told me I did not have sufficient bone and in a few years they will probably fall out. He got me a little nervous, Do you think that is possible? please tell me if that is true, Thank you

  2. It is hard to predict anything over the internet, let alone the office. But implants can last up to 25 years if everything goes well. How long does a knee replacement last or how long would an orthopedic give it? Remember, your implants will not have decay nor will they need root canals. Restored properly, you probably will have many years of enjoyment and function far beyond the alternative. best of luck. My hats off to you. Bill

  3. i would like to state that ” if done in a proper text book way, maintaining all the protocols and specially sterility and also the after care of implants ” I think it is the most dependable of all the treatments we dentists do.

  4. It took me forever to decide whether to have an 4on 1 implant surgery done, After a veneer fell off my front tooth and left a very small stub of a tooth, I was told to have both front teeth pulled so that I could get a flipper to replace them then to start proceedings for implants, I talked myself into this, going tomorrow to get the two teeth pulled, My husband is tryong to talk me out of the implants (cost, I’m sure)but my teeth that are left all have crowns on them and several have been root canalled, I become traumitized every time I have to go to the dentist, I don’t know how much longer I can stand this, does anyone out there reading this have implants, and have you had any problems??? I do not smoke and am pretty good shape, health wise, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!, please give me some advice SOON, PLEASE

    • I had 6 implants placed 5 years ago and I was concerned for it was an expensive proposition. But I could not get dentures for the bottom, which was my first thought, because my gums had receeded to much and he told me my teeth would be floating in my mouth and he would not make lower dentures for me.
      The only other option was to pull my 4 remaining teeth in the front and have him put in 2 implants with a bar that would hold the other teeth on the bottom. He didn’t recomment this because he said he didn’t like to pull strong healthy rooted teeth. For once they are pulled you can’t replace them if it doesn’t work with the bar. So I opted for 6 implants, all on the bottom with dentures on the top.
      The one side seems to be holding up ok but the other side, I had some tooth become loose so I had to go back to the dentist. A different one because we no longer lived in CA and are now in NC.

      He said usually they have a small hole in the top of the implant with a cap filling the hole so they can pop off that cap and tighten the screw without having to remove the tooth to get to the screw in my gum. So the only way he could tighten that tooth was to break that tooth, remove it and replace it with a new one, which this dentist did. It was not cheap but I had no choice.

      Well in a few months that new tooth became loose again and he wouldn’t do anything to make it right except to do the same thing over again at my cost.

      After that, a tooth on the same side, the last in the row, came out completely. The screw is still in my gum but no tooth. The one that was loose the second time is still loose and now the one next to it is also loose. I know these will come out eventually also. I know it is because my gums have receeded and there is not enough gum to hold them.

      I am soon to be 72, have a husband with terminal cancer now in his bones, and I am really upset. I don’t know what I am going to do because I can’t afford major expense again, and I am thinking if they can’t build up the gum, it will not last.

      I have had upper dentures for years with no problem, but I can’t wear lower ones because the gums won’t hold them in place.
      I guess I will end up with just no teeth on the one side of my mouth, sad to say.

      If there is anyway you can avoid implants, I would. They are very expensive and while the teeth don’t decay the gums need to be very healthy, and ample to hold them.

      Good luck to you. Hope this will help you decide if it is worth it to you.

  5. Hi Linda
    I dont have implants as yet but need 3 implants on front teeth due to infections in existing crowns. I am in the same delemma as you and I’m due to go to dentist tomorrow for impressions to see the best way forward, which I believe will be implants. Have been told I will need a temporary plate for the time being and it’s freaking me out at the thought of it, but what choice have I now got, Ive been told a bridge will not last, which I was hoping my dentist could have done. Please let me know how you got on?

  6. Hi Denise,

    Have you checked into mini implants? Sometimes, the new teeth can be placed immediately, depending on the dentist and various other factors. Perhaps some of the dentists on this board who place a lot of them will respond to you. I hope so….

  7. I am 25 and due to being a type 1 diabetic, no enamel on my teeth and drug use i chose to have all my teeth pulled and will have have 8 implants on top and 8 on bottom with bridges between. For now i have 4 implants on top and 4 on bottom with dentures while the implants and bone grafts heal. I am fully satisfied! The procedure to put them all in was horrible i will admit but the pros far out weight the cons! You will be sore for a while but all the constant pain and discomfort is gone. It is a large cost investment (20,000 since April 08 and not done yet.) but well worth every penny. It is a real shock to think i’m 25 with fake teeth but no one can even tell and i get comments on my beautiful smile all the time.

  8. Hi Jean
    Thankyou for your response. I will ask my dentist about mini implants when I go next week. Thankyou
    Denise

  9. Hi again, Denise,

    Just remember, if your dentist doesn’t do them (the mini’s), he will pooh-pooh them. :-)

    Good luck!

  10. Im 18, lost 4 teeth in a bike accident 4 years ago. Three of my dental surgeries have failed. The bone graft began to stick out of the gums and had to be removed on three different occasions. Just recently I had a bone removed from my hip and put in to build the bridge.
    It’s 6 weeks in now, what is the success rate for implants on bone grafts? Since my other surgeries failed, will this one have a higher chance of failing?

  11. I am back again after one year, the truth is that I had my permanent full upper and lower implants put in by Dr Wolffinger and Dr Balashi, in Pa. a little over one year ago and it is the best thing I have ever done.
    They feel sturdy and beautiful, up to now I have no complains, thank God. They did cost a preety penny and it took all my saving’s but it was well worth it.
    I use to have removabal uppers and that was annoying and embarassing, they would get loose and could not eat properly, but now I can eat with confidence. If you are thinking of implants, I suggest you find a good prothodonticts, you can check the internet
    Prosthodontics Intermedica. Have a wonderful day. and thank you for all the answers that I received.

  12. Hi, to all. First understand that from child abuse my uppers were pulled at age 12. That was 45 years ago. So, my “experience” is at the extreme for almost every complication. I started my “journey” Oct.of ’06. (#1)with hip graft, sinus lift etc. Further grafts are allograft (? donor) By Nov.17 bone exposed (#2)so needed to “go in and remove” etc. End of Dec more bone exposed so(#3)again the same procedure. By Feb ’07 scan showed graft failed so (#4)another full mouth graft. June ’07 (#5) got 8 maxillary implants! Then to wait 6 months to heal. Dec. ’07 (#6)one removed, more grafting. April ’08 (#7)after 4 months added new one again. Oct ’08 (#8)removed same implant & replaced with NEW Active (fatter one which helps bone growth) Surgeon decided to add 9th implant (buried it as won’t use unless another fails) for the “just in case”. I need all 8 for support. For now it seems to be okay and will decide by mid Feb ’09 if I can move to the next step. I currently have 2 remaining tacks pushing through which is causing more pain so they have to be removed. I had problems with all the tacks so during the above procedures they would be removed depending on which were causing a problem at the time.

    I’m choosing a “fixed removable” due to the lack of tissue in the front. The initial full cost estimate is $50,000 including the prosthesis. We’ll see.

    I’d like to hear what others have chosen for the final as I can still change. Hope my experience doesn’t scare anyone as the purpose is to tell what can happen. My surgeon is awesome! Kind, caring, EXPERIENCED! At the beginning Surgeon said I was in a uphill climb but I was forced to do this as there was no longer bone support for any denture to stay in. So, there’s my “journey” so far……….

  13. Karen – chances are had you gone for the ‘all on 4′ procedure you would have been done same day with your temporary acrylic bridge screwed in minus the sinus lifts and bone grafts etc.

    To all the patients, dental implants are a beautiful alternative for a permanent solution in terms of function and esthetics. Before embarking on such a journey, consider multiple consultations and quotes. Make your decision based on your level of comfort with your doctor. Has he or she answered all your questions? Have they shown you any clinical photos of their own cases? What about your dental implant options?

    Sometimes we may affort to have 10 upper implants yet we may not have the bone. In this case we chose to either elect the additional surgeries (bone grafts, sinus lift, etc) or do it all in 1 surgery with the All-On-4. Not everyone is a good candidate. Most dentists do not believe in this procedure because it challenges the core values and basic concepts of implantology. But it works. I have restored countless arches, and even for patients who do have the bone I place all on 4′s for financial reasons. It is a cheaper option too.

    Here is a simple analogy. You have a table and 4 strong healthy people are holding it. Will the table hold?

    Now have 10 people hold that same table. Will the table hold?

    When done properly, the table will hold JUST FINE with both scenarios.

    Lesson of the day is – TALK to your dentist. ASK questions. DEMAND options, ask them to compare your options. If possible ask for clinical photos. Most importantly, go to multiple dentists, at least 2 or 3 so you could see what your options truly are. Make your decision based on comfort level more than ever.

    As for the anxious patients, ask if sedation or anesthesia is an option. Whether it is a single or fu ll mouth implants, I always give my patients the option. Be comfortable with your dentist, and get ready to enjoy life again!

    Good luck to all, happy holidays.

    Dr Leo.

  14. Dear Gladys, My first case (root forms) circa 1990 is still in function. I have remade prosthesis for blade cases that were in for 24 yrs and subperiosteal cases that were in function for 30 yrs. So your answer is as follows: They work well in most cases and last a long time in most cases. If one abuses them or develops medical issues then the life span can be decreased.

  15. Dr. Leo, I’m not understanding how I could have had “all on 4″ as I had zero bone in the front and very minimal elsewhere. What would hold an implant if not put into bone? I’m choosing porcelain as it will finally look natural. All on 4 can be done with the palate open?

    I even bought a book by Misch so that I could understand what was going on and what to expect. The other complication is that I’ve already lost bone around all the implants. I’ve heard that it’s normal and then I hear it’s not okay but mostly it’s more that my body isn’t accepting or something.

  16. My teeth, I am told due to Sjogrens Syndrome, have almost ruined the last 8 yrs of my retirement life. If you can imagine, 8 yrs ago, $14,000 of “restructing” my mounth, all of which failed in 2 years. New dentist – huge bone graft from chin to upper front for 4 implants, 2 grafts of decaver bone for two molder implants, many wasteful rootcanals (almost immediately became infected), a total of about $20,000. New dentist, then this Aug./Sept.new bridge, rootcanals (that are already infected, some other tooth work as well, and another $12,000; and now, 2 months later, I am scheduled for caps replacing new caps, both canines replaced with implants, and surgery to place some tissue on my top implants (the gum is receding) to make them last and not loosen. Between both dentists another 11,000 to 12,000. The implants are wonderful,IF I can just keep them. I will never spend another penny on root canals. I am not a rich woman, I am 75, and all this dental money has come from money I had put aside for retirement, and then to top it all, the economy did it’s down thing. Can you see why I find it so difficult to trust a dentist? I’m terrified this next one won’t work, because that’s it, I can’t do any more.

  17. Hello,
    My mother is 74. She has had a lower implant for 22years. Due to reoccuring infections, her dr. recommended replacement 5 years ago but she didn’t want to do it then. 10 days ago, she finally had it removed. The game plan was to replace it after she healed but her xrays showed that her mandible is about the width of my pinkie finger and the risk of fracturing it is very high. My question is: Now what? She has a burning sensation when she touches her lip/chin and fears that she will not regain the feeling of either. We are desparate for advice and are seeking some guidance. She will never leave her home again if she has no lower teeth. She’s very depressed and we are just seaching for some help. Thank you for your time.

  18. I need to have all of my teeth pulled and either dentures or implants put in. It’s pretty obvious that I won’t be able to afford the implants. I am interested in the mini implant option though. I am 49 years old and my teeth started crumbling after my thyroid was destroyed in 2000 with a single large dose of radioactive iodine therapy (I swallowed a horse pill). Are mini implants able to be put in the same day that the teeth are pulled? I absolutely cannot leave the dental office toothless. I don’t want dentures but I have no choice. I work 40 hrs a week and cannot afford to stay home toothless until I have something to wear. That is why I like the immediate denture concept, except I don’t like the thought of dentures. I am a singer and I need to be sure that I will not be embarrassed by dentures being loose or not being able to sing with them. I want to be able to walk into the dentist’s office, have my teeth pulled, and walk out with beautiful dental implants. Can it happen all in one day?

  19. vicky have you considered dentures retained by implants that are fixed? (not removable)? that is becoming an affordable option for many; you can find dental implant centres that do this all over canada and us

    where are you located?

  20. tawnya – she does not have to go without teeth forever; let her heal first and then ask her dentist for all her alternate options; it sounds like she is an extreme case, and a lower partial or full set of teeth may possibly her best route

    talk to her dentist and ask for her options
    burning pain etc ask her dentist to examine her; she may have some complications of healing

  21. Mine didnt work, i had mine less than 10yrs before posts and all fell out….the porcelens fell out 3 times before that., the dentist will never take the blame, but ive had almost 2,000$ spent on my teeth, and that doesnt include implants, and now they want to pull ALL my teeth!!! I have nerve pain so bad im on fentyl patches!! I want off!! i’m sooo confused and discouraged. In April, i will have 2 more opions which will b 4 and i dont think i trust any of them…..the one i liked the best, wanted to give me ONE xanax while he pulled my teeth!! Thats like giving me a baby aspirin………any suggestions?

  22. I’ve had dentures for most of my adult life. about a year ago i was recommended to an implant doctor. he installed 2 implants in my lower jaw. One faild. He said he would replace it at no cost. I do not know why he only installed 2 implants. He said it was for economic reasons without explaining it thoroughly. I have seen 2 dentist since, they dont think 2 implants will support my lower denture properly. I have very little bone to support my dentures or implants in my lower jaw. they want me to do another cat scan since my other one is over a year old. I understand they are many options available for grafting bone to support implants. I am not excited about removing bone from my hip it sounds terribly expensive. I dont think It would be covered by my medical insurance. Please advise.

  23. Carol – If you were my patient, based on what you said in your post, I would ask you to go to a good oral surgeon, be put out for the procedure, have all teeth removed, do bone grafting at the same time as needed, and place an immediate denture with a soft treatment liner for comfort. Use the dentures for 6 months to allow complete healing. Yes, you will be uncomfortable with the dentures, but pain will be greatly reduced compared to what you describe now. In 6 months or so, your dentist can refer you to the same oral surgeon for implant placement, and also have the surgeon place a few mini implants for transitional stability of the existing denture if desired. Then, 6 months after that (a total of one year from initial procedure) your dentist should be able to construct full fixed bridges on both upper and lower using the implants which by now should be fully integrated. I know, you don’t WANT to wear a denture for a year, but consider the pain you are now in and PLEASE make a rational, adult decision and do it the right way. I really wish everyone would carefully consider all options and accept the reality that some sacrifice on your part is necessary for a great final outcome. I do believe the All on Four option will work for some patients, and personally I do full fixed acrylic bridges on mini implants or a combination of mini and conventional implants. Sometimes it can work without grafting, but your experience with failed implants suggest otherwise. Best of luck, and please post again so we can see how it turns out!

  24. Hello everyone. I’m sixteen and my front left tooth split in two and I was told that I should get a dental implant. I was wondering what is the success rate for a upper front tooth implant and how long is the long-term success rate compaired to a bridge?

  25. Hey people, I had my implant done 4 yrs ago and it is still doing good. I had no graft done and I don’t even know a lot about as my dentist did not give me a lot of information (I don’t know why) but I have began to make my own research.

  26. I have been getting treatment over the last twelve months i have have had six mini implants to my upper & four to my lower one has failed in my lower but when it was been fitted i had a lot pain & had to get more injections about ten weeks after the treatment one came out with my denture but other than that they have been the best think for me its nearly four months since the implant came out ready to get a replacement we will see how that gos i would recommend this sort of treatment to any denture wearer it changes your life style

  27. i have had implants bottom ones 4 posts for about 4 years for some reason the inserts the put in the plate to snap on the implants just never work right they hold for awhile and then they become loose its very annoying i was wondering if any body else had the sme problem thank you

  28. I have gotten removable dentures and they are so painfull and awful and I can’t eat with them and can’t sing with them. I am always in pain when the dentures are in.
    I am condidering inplants since these removable dentures are inpossible to wear.
    In the U.S.A. it will be $25,000. for Upper ;and another $25,000. for the lower $50,000.
    Does anyone know of any dentists in New York who does the $650. per inplant . Is this possible in U.S.A.
    I heard of overseas dentists who are in India, Thailand, Cambodia, Phillippines Ect.
    Could any patients or dentist tell me about the dental inplants and what is involved. Thank You

  29. hi can you get 4 mini implants and crowns for 4 uppper front teeth there missing in a row ,and where can you get this done thanks.

  30. I have one dental implant in my mouth, Ive had it for 5 years and havent had a single problem with it. I love it and it doenst feel odd to me at all. I floss everysingle day all and am meticulous about my oral hygiene. I have had 2 dentists say that my oral hygiene is excellent and that they dont see mouths as clean as mine very often. I am hoping because of this my implant will last a long time. The rest of my mouth isnt much better I have 5 crowns, 1 root canal which failed earlier this year so I got it re-done and about 7 fillings. I am only 27 years old!!!! I negleted my teeth in my earlier years and when I devoloped problems my parents coudlnt afford for me to go to the dentist, I was then faced with toothache which by the time I went I had to have all my work done! since then I am paranoid and keep my mouth as clean as possible! But as far as implants go I think they are great…I only have 1 but its great!

  31. i just read a comment by a lady paitent about her implant wich is working after 5 years,i am an iranian dentist who has used a 45mm fixture in 1986 for a lady .
    because of maxilla bone insufficiency ,i passed 2 long fixtures through the maxilla and fixed them in zygoma bone,and now after 21 years these 2 implants and also the full arch rehab.are working properly.
    may i ask my colleages around the world if there is any similar case done befor (or even after my work)to check the results?

  32. It took me 1 1/2 year to do my upper jaw; I am extremely happy with the final outcome. I have 5 implants, the first 2 failed immediately and had to be removed. I had a bone graft done and 2 implants reinserted. I was wearing a dental plaque for a year, it was disappointing especially after wearing for 2 weeks the upper denture afixed on implants. But after all this time and suffering the results couldnt be better. I love to laugh..to show off my beautiful teeth. I would recommend doing implants but with cautious, if you are prepared for failure and possible complications, then do it. The final results far exceeds the pain and disappointment when any one has to be removed and reinserted…

  33. My daughter in seven years old and has severe dental fluorosis. I was told that she would need caps for her back teeth to stop them deteriorating further. Her two lower teeth have come through, so far they are not yet brown, but are very weak and have bright white and grey and showing signs of further deterioration. I was told that veneers may be an option for her front teeth, but due to the cost, and the fact that her real teeth are so weak they may not be able to support veneers. I was wondering what the options are. Implants are too expensive, and I don’t want her to have surgery at such a young age. False teeth seem the logical option however I am afraid this will lead to deterioration of her jaw over time – plus she still has a lot of growing to do. I live in Australia.

  34. I have four dental implants that have been in for a little over three years. I feel compelled to leave a comment as I did not fully realize what I was getting into before I committed to the big ordeal I started with my teeth. I had four missing adult teeth (all four pre-molars) so my baby teeth never came out. As an adult my mouth developed leaving my baby teeth below the gum line and causing my bone not to develop in those areas and the teeth on either side leaned/crowded over the gaps. After many dentists over my lifetime telling me that I need to fix my teeth in order to avoid big issues in life and starting to have TMJ issues I was sold on the idea of removing the baby teeth and getting implants.
    I had to have braces to open up the spaces. After a year of braces I had the baby teeth removed and synthetic bone grafting. It was a happy day, seriously. A year later I had the implants installed and three months after that the braces were off. I had the crowns placed shortly after that. This was when things weren’t as fun.
    The crowns on the implants feel very fake. It bothered me a lot in the beginning. The dentist explained that I never had teeth in those spots so it was weird to suddenly have then. Plus there were no nerves in the implants so they would feel odd. It took a few months to kind of get use to them but after three years they still fell big and odd to me. The top ones seem to be more annoying than the bottom ones.
    The other issue with implants is gum recession. After about two years of having the crowns in I noticed that my gums began to rapidly recede around the crowns. I went to a parodontist. He said that this was normal for implants. He explained that the gums follow the bone and that at some point this will stop. It seems like it has but the areas do not look as nice as they did. The other issue is that implants do not move. Believe it or not teeth move quite a bit. I did not realize this until I got the implants. I periodically have to get my teeth filed and retainer adjusted because my real teeth are adjusting to my bite but my implants are not. It never feels good to have this done. After all this I am no happier and in fact it causes me lots of stress. I kind of wish I had left everything as it was but in life we are faced with choices and I probably would have been worse off with the baby teeth. The orthodontist kiddingly told me that I drew the short straw when god was handing out teeth but I chose the better of two evils. He also said that most people never totally get use to how implants feel.
    Having said all this implants seem to be the best choice if you have no teeth. I can eat normally and they look real. My 70 year-old father-in-law has six implants holding three bridges and he claims it is the best thing in the world.

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