Dental implants offer a very attractive solution for people who’ve lost a tooth. Rather than having a bridge, which can damage neighbouring teeth, implants promise to replace your natural tooth with a prosthetic that’s practically as good as the real thing.

Because of the treatment and materials involved, the cost of dental implants represents a long term investment for many people. But how many years of use can you expect to get from your implants?

Dental implant success rates

There have been some long-term studies of dental implants. Results show an overall success of 95% where the implant is placed into natural bone. For patients who need a bone graft to support the implant, the success rate is 85 and 90 percent.

Aftercare is key for lifelong implants

If you’re thinking of having dental implants, you’ve no doubt done some research. It’s not uncommon for patients to spend a long time considering their options.

Of course, it’s important to choose your dental implant dentist carefully. But just as important is knowing how to care for your implant in the years to come.

What can cause an implant to fail?

  • Smoking
    If you smoke, it is two and a half times more likely your implant will fail than if you were a non-smoker.
  • Lack of dental hygiene
    You’ll need to be meticulous about keeping your teeth and gums clean after you’ve had your implant. If not, you could develop a disease called peri-implant mucositis, which leads to peri-implantisis and possible bone loss that could cause implant failure.
  • Missing regular dental check-ups
    You’d expect to see the dentist regularly to maintain your natural teeth. And with implants it’s even more vital. Follow up care is one of the main reasons why it’s best not to go abroad for implants.

The first dental implants were placed in 1965 in the mouth of a patient called Gosta Laarson. His implants lasted 41 years until his death in 2006. Take good care of yours and they could last for many years too.