If you’re gearing up to get dental implants, you might be feeling a little leery about the timeline. From the first consultation to the final procedure, getting implants can take several months due to all the downtime needed for healing.

Most likely, this is much longer than other procedures you might be considering. Is it worth the trouble? How long do dental implants last, and is that enough to outweigh the up-front time cost?

The majority of our patients would answer with an immediate “Yes!”

Not only are implants great ways to restore your smile, but they’re also long-lasting time investments. If you’re worried about the timeline, here’s what you should know about enjoying and maximizing your implants’ longevity.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Here’s the good news: with proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime! That’s why these prosthetics are considered the only permanent solution for a missing tooth.

This is the case because of a process called osseointegration. Through this process, your jawbone fuses with the titanium implant post. This implant becomes an artificial tooth root that doesn’t ever need to be removed, in most cases.

However, you may need to replace the crown. The crown is the visible, tooth-shaped cap that sits atop the titanium post.

Though the titanium post is strong enough to withstand a lot of force, the material that makes up your crown is not. That’s because crowns are designed to match the color of your teeth, which is why we often use materials like porcelain. Though porcelain is incredibly strong, it’s no match for the force of a human jaw, which is stronger than you’d think!

Due to wear and tear as we bite and chew, the surface of a porcelain crown deteriorates over time. You can expect your new crown to last around 15-20 years. This is true for both major types of dental implants (endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants).

However, as we’ve mentioned, your oral surgeon won’t need to replace the rest of your implant when they replace your crown. This means that follow-up appointments to replace a worn crown are fast, and you won’t need the long stretches of recovery time that you initially needed for your original dental implant procedure.

What About Implant Failure?

One thing that can curb the lifespan of your implants is premature failure. This happens when something affects the osseointegration or healing process. It can mean that your oral surgeon will need to remove the implant, allow your jaw to heal, and then start the procedure again.

Implant failures are rare. However, there are a few things that can increase your risk:

Insufficient Jawbone

During your initial consultation, your oral surgeon will check the structure and density of your jawbone. This helps them decide whether you’re a good candidate for implants.

If you don’t have enough bone structure for implant placement, your oral surgeon may recommend bone grafting first. This procedure takes bone from elsewhere in your body and places it in your jawbone to allow for an implant.

In some cases, losing your jawbone density later can cause an implant to fail. This can happen with conditions that affect bone health, such as osteoporosis.

Medical Conditions and Medications

Certain health conditions, such as diabetes or bleeding disorders, can increase your risk of implant failure. The same is true of prescription medications like immunosuppressive drugs.

Poor Oral Care

In addition to surgical instructions, your oral surgeon will advise you on caring for your implants. It’s crucial to follow their instructions to the letter!

Poor oral hygiene can allow bacteria to wreak havoc with your smile, which can in turn weaken the soft tissues that support your implant. When this happens, there’s a risk that your implant may fail.


Smoking is terrible for your oral health, but it’s especially bad for your implants. Smoking constricts your blood vessels and reduces blood flow, which can make it harder for your jaw to get the essential nutrients and oxygen it needs during the healing process. Make sure to avoid smoking and tobacco products for a few months after your surgery, at least, if you don’t quit altogether.

Teeth Grinding

Grinding your teeth can cause excess wear and tear on the chewing surfaces of your implants. This may mean you’ll have to replace the crowns sooner rather than later.

In the worst-case scenario, however, grinding can even cause an implant to loosen or fracture. This may cause total implant failure.

To avoid this, make sure to talk to your oral surgeon for help curbing your tooth grinding. They may recommend wearing a night guard.

Lengthening the Lifespan of Your Implants

What can you do to give your implants the best possible chance at a long lifespan?

It all starts with your oral surgeon! Choosing a skilled, board-certified implant surgeon greatly reduces your risk of complications or implant failure, so make sure you partner with a pro with years of experience.

From there, invest in your oral hygiene. Though bacteria can’t affect the materials of your implants, it can affect the supporting gums, teeth, and bones. That’s why maintaining a clean, bacteria-free smile is crucial.

You don’t need to do anything special, either. Just brush twice a day and floss once. Using an antiseptic mouth rinse and trying a tongue cleaner can also help.

It’s also important to attend any follow-up appointments after you get your implants and to get regular six-month cleanings. These check-ins allow your oral surgeon and regular dentist to check your oral health and catch any minor problems early. They’re some of the best ways to improve the longevity of your implants!

Get Professional Implant Dental Services

Now that you’ve stopped wondering, “How long do dental implants last?” it’s time to start taking better care of your smile! Your dental implants can last a lifetime, but that’s only true if you invest in regular cleaning and check-ups.

If you’re looking for professional help to enhance your smile, trust the board-certified team at Jenkins, Morrow & Gayhearst OMS. We’re happy to help answer all of your questions, and we offer high-quality implants with advanced diagnostic and treatment technology. To learn more, schedule a consultation today.