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Nothing can take the place of a healthy set of natural teeth. But when disease or an accident ends in tooth loss, it’s good to know that dental implants are one of the most effective ways to replace missing teeth. Dental implants help to preserve the bone after teeth are lost or extracted. With careful treatment planning and good oral care, dental implants can provide a healthy, stable smile for a lifetime.
Healthy patients, who have dental implants that are placed in sufficient bone volume and are properly restored and who sees the dentist on a regular basis and brushes and flosses properly, can expect the implants to last for decades. If the implants are not placed with care, they will often fail in the first year. If the implants fail later than in one year's time, the patient either acquired peri-implantitis (an inflammatory disease around the implant) or the forces on the implant were not properly controlled by the dentist.
Dental implants typically last longer than other methods of replacing lost teeth, such as dental bridges and dentures. One 2010 study found that 83% of dental implants were still in place after 16 years. (Dental bridges and dentures may need to be replaced in seven to 15 years.) On the other hand, the study also found that many patients required frequent return trips to the dentist due to complications associated with an implant.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.