If you remember the game show “The $64,000 Question” from the 1950s, you may be at the age where you have to consider dental implants. Though dental implants are not only for seniors, most people who get dental implants are older adults. “How long do dental implants last?” is the most oft-asked question of dental implant dentists in Anchorage, Alaska, and the answer is not simple. It’s the $64,000 question!

While dental implants are a permanent solution to the problem of tooth loss, how long they last depends on many factors. Ideally, dental implants will last your entire life when properly cared for according to your implant dentist’s instructions. As with any other medical or dental procedure, success varies from patient to patient. 

Since dental implants are topped off with a restoration such as a dental crown, it’s more likely the restorative piece of your implant will have to be replaced instead of the implant itself. Most people never require any repair once their implants are placed.

Why Dental Implants Are Permanent

Dental implants are considered permanent tooth replacements because they integrate directly with the jawbone, becoming enmeshed with surrounding bone tissue through a process called osseointegration. Healthline states, “When osseointegration is complete, the material of the implant and the surrounding bone have fused.”

“With successful osseointegration, the dental implant will serve as an artificial tooth root, forming a solid foundation for a prosthetic tooth.” While the implant is permanent, the dental crown attached to it at the end of the implant process may need to be replaced due to normal wear and tear, according to Healthline. The dental crowns, however, should last ten years or longer when placed by a highly skilled Anchorage, Alaska, restorative dentist.

Did Your Dental Implants Fail?

While it’s rare for a dental implant to fail, the most common causes of implant failure are:

  1. Insufficient care and maintenance: Implants cannot get cavities, but they can develop plaque, which can lead to gum disease that affects your gums and your jawbone. To avoid dental implant failure, it’s important to brush and floss as you would with natural teeth and have regular checkups at your dentist’s office.
  2. Insufficient bone: Your dentist will determine if you have enough jawbone to handle dental implants, but if your bone loss increases over time, your implant may fail. Osteoporosis and other medical conditions that affect bone health may play a role in dental implant failure.
  3. Smokers are much more prone to implant failure than nonsmokers because smoking interferes with blood flow to the areas of the implants. Smoking also is a risk factor for gum disease, and gum disease, especially advanced periodontal disease, may cause implants to fail.
  4. Age also plays a part in implant success/failure. If your Anchorage, Alaska, implant dentist feels you’re not a viable candidate for implants due to age, other tooth replacement options will be discussed.

In the second point, it was pointed out that medical conditions may affect implant success or failure. Here are the most common medical conditions that present challenges to dental implant patients:

  • Bleeding disorders
  • Weakened immune system
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Congestive heart failure

Please don’t let this list prevent you from contacting an Anchorage implant dentist. Your implant dentist will thoroughly evaluate, obtain a complete medical history, and use the most advanced technology available today to evaluate your dental health.

Correcting Failed Dental Implants

Highly skilled implant dentists can fix the problems caused by poorly placed dental implants. There are numerous options to restore your smile and correct the embarrassing problem of tooth loss. When you’re with the best dental implant dentist in Anchorage, you can have a beautiful smile, eat all the foods you love, and get the life back you’ve lost due to the problem of missing teeth.

Learn More About How Long Dental Implants Last in Anchorage, Alaska

Implant dentist Dr. Kendall Skinner is thrilled to offer many tooth replacement options at Excellence in Dentistry, serving Anchorage and surrounding areas. Please call him today (907) 349-0022, or you may fill out our online contact form. One of our amazing dental team members will reach out to answer questions or schedule a new patient evaluation. Dental implants can last a lifetime. You deserve to have the smile you’ve always wanted.