Dentistry and dental care have progressed from a basic form of medicine to today’s usage of preventative dental care, cutting-edge diagnosis, and cutting-edge treatment. This discipline of reconstructive surgery has evolved beyond empiricism and mirage now as its scientific fundamentals and principles have been established. There’s no denying that dentistry has evolved considerably over the previous two decades, but none has had a greater impact than implant dentistry the basic of which is titanium.

It was Branemark’s discovery of titanium’s osseo-integrative qualities, that had led to the revolutionary changes in dentistry when it comes to finding the replacement of a missing tooth. However, despite of superior properties and bone integrative qualities, one factor which is always associated with dental implants is the high cost associated with it. Thus, it comes to everyone’s mind on how long the titanium dental implant last for the amount they are paying for it, the answer of which depends on many factors.

Life of a titanium dental implant:

In the last two decades, multiple researches have provided evidence to the answer for how long the titanium dental implant lasts. Umpteenth evidence about dental implant through real-world and scientific literature have echoed the fact the if placed correctly taking into account patient and clinician factors, a dental implant’s average life would be around 20-30 years. However, the range depends on many factors which are either patient related or clinician controlled. Also, the life of the implant screw which is under the bone, and the attached crown which lies outside differs.

With good cleaning and flossing, the titanium dental implant screw can last a lifetime if the patient has regular dental check-ups every six months. The crown, on the other hand, usually only lasts 10 to 15 years before it needs to be changed due to wear.

What makes titanium dental implants long-lasting?

Among all the materials, titanium has a unique advantage of osseo-integration. When place in bone cavity it has the property of osseo-induction which creates an environment for bone formation. Therefore, how long a titanium dental implant will last will chiefly depend on how well the connection has been established. Also, the titanium is treated with various techniques which creates an osseo-conducive surface to allow for bone formation. This creates a tight contact between titanium and the surrounding bone giving dental implant a life like and long-lasting properties. However, one should keep in mind that the bonding will depend upon various physiological factors surrounding the implant. Bone quality, patient deleterious habits, social and environmental factors play a vital role in determining the success and longevity of dental implants.

Key factors to consider on how long a titanium dental implant lasts?

  • Oral health status:One of the prime important aspects on how long a titanium dental implant last is status of oral health and hygiene. As one knows, the mouth of an individual is not sterile and is occupied by millions of microorganisms that are in a dynamic relationship with each other and the surroundings. Maintaining optimum oral hygiene is paramount to make dental implants long-lasting. In absence of such cases, the microorganism can harbour the tissue surrounding the dental implant and lead to inflammation of the tissue called as peri-implantitis which will lead to failure of the dental implant.
  • Social habits:Smoking and alcohol consumption can be detrimental to the success and lasting of dental implants. Individuals who are chronic smokers and have a habit of regular alcohol consumption have been seen with failed implants as compared with those who do not possess such habits. The nicotine present in cigarette has been implicated in the narrowing of the small blood vessel in the gums and surrounding bones which can lead to compromised blood flow which in turn impairs healing. Also, smoking lead to the accumulation of more pathogenic microorganisms which has a detrimental effect on the longevity of dental implants.
  • Patient medical status: The quality of bone and the healing around them depends on general health of the patients. Individual who are suffering from chronic health conditions like diabetes, bone disorders or those who are on bisphosphonates have been seen with the failure of dental implants. Diabetes also led to impair wound healing and a higher chance of wound infection following dental implant surgery. Therefore, taking into account patient health conditions before implant placement is paramount for the survival and lasting of dental implants.
  • Deleterious oral habits: Although less frequent, it has been documented that patient with deleterious oral habits as frequent clenching and bruxism has led to challenges for the lasting of dental implants
  • Nature of the bone:Implants require appropriate support from the jawbone to maintain their integrity. As a result, each patient’s bone loss should be thoroughly assessed to establish whether or not they are suitable for implants.
  • Clinician expertise in the placement of implant:The knowledge of the implantologists or dental clinicians is also a key factor when it comes to knowing how long will the titanium dental implant last. Poor judgment or not taking into account patient and local factors will lead to failure of dental implant and unnecessary trauma to patients. Also, dental implants that are placed incorrectly are doomed to fail, so choose an oral health professional with competence in implant placement to ensure that they last as long as possible.
  • Type of implant:With the rise of dental implant products in the market, it in order to please the patients, many clinicians go for a dental implant which are cheaper without giving due considerations to the clinical efficacy. This could be detrimental to the implant success as cheaper options are generally will be accompanied with little clinical success.

Overall, there is beyond doubt the dental implants today are the most sought out treatment option for both the patients and clinicians for the replacement of missing teeth. However, to clearly understand how long a titanium dental implant will last will depend upon various factors and therefore before choosing and presenting the option to patients one has to consider all the factors so that the implant can have a long-lasting survival and success.