Longevity of Dental Implants?

Dr. A. asks:
What do you tell your patients the expected lifespan is for dental implants? There are so many variables, such as patient hygiene, masticatory dynamics, health, occlusion, etc. Some practitioners tell people they will have the implant for life and may just need to change the crowns or bridge, while others give a life span of 10 years. I would like to be truthful to my patients so they know what to expect. But I also do not want to seem too conservative in my estimates so that I will dissuade patients from having me place the implants and go to some other dentist who tells them that their implants last longer. What are you telling your patients?

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5 thoughts on “Longevity of Dental Implants?

  1. At the risk of “passing the buck,” it really is up to the care and time spent on maintenance. I would say offer a time range with the variable of the level of care they contribute as the X factor. So, from 10 years to forever. Again, not a real hard and fast answer, but maybe some reasoning to give to patients to explain the uncertainty.

  2. I tell my patients that they last pretty much forever. Afterall, it is titanium, and we know that titanium doesn’t get decay, rust or corrode…and once they integrate, it pretty much takes an act of god to get them out. I think that if we can’t at least guarantee patients this than we shouldn’t be placing implants in their jaws. What do the other clinicians think ?

  3. How long the implants last?
    How long natural teeth last? If we were placing real, natural teeth, there would be the same question: ” How long will they last, doc?”
    How long lasted the natural teeth of this very patient, who appears for implantation? Do all and every tooth (implant) lasts as long as other teeth in a mouth?
    Can we predict how long will last anything? And if we fail in our prediction, what will the punishment be?

  4. I usually tell my patients that dental implants will generally last their entire lives as long as they are well maintained. These are for implants placed in ideal conditions where there is good bone and patient is relatively healthy. Prognosis is lower if patient has bone deficiency or medical condition such as diabetes.

  5. Well, i do certainly agree with NYC Partial Dentures… it all depends on the care and time spent on maintenance. As an oral implantologist myself, I believe so much in the maintenance. i always give a realistic analogy like spending on a luxury car and you definately need to maintain them if you want it to run smoothly in years to come. However, for an implant this lasts much longer and better investment provided…care is to be taken as well.

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