How Long Do Implants Last?

implantsYou may have been told you need a tooth extracted and your dentist can quickly fix the problem with an “implant”. Before you sign on to this kind of treatment, realize that an extraction, crown, and ongoing maintenance will ultimately cost you thousands of dollars. For this reason be sure to ask your dentist, “how long does an implant last?”

This can be a tough question for your dentist, who doesn’t want to give you false expectations, dissuade you, or loose you to another office. Implants are business, but implants are subject to disease as much as regular teeth. Implants are not permanent solutions if you have plaque. An implant will be infected by the infection that caused your tooth problems in the first place. You must get rid of any mouth infection before an implant – otherwise you will loose this implant and end up with dentures anyway.

Of course implants may be perfect replacements for an accidental injury or if an old tooth breaks in a healthy mouth. Problems happen when implants are put into infected mouths, which in my opinion, is neither ethical or wise.

Before implant treatment, I suggest :
1. Get your mouth healthy with Zellie’s and my Complete Mouth Care System – for at least 8 weeks
2. Take an OralDNA or other test to see if you have gum disease bacteria in your mouth
3. Consider building body health with a mineral-rich diet, probiotics and a good supplement regimen: before and after any surgery (3-6 months).

With a healthy mouth and a strong immune system, your chance of long-term implant success will be radically improved.



Categories: Uncategorized

7 replies

  1. Hi Dr Ellie! I have contacted you a few times about my children’s decay problems associated with night nursing, you have helped our family so much. We have used your program for a few years now and I tell everyone about xylitol and your program. I am now needing your advice for myself! I had an implant done in high school on a congenitally missing lateral incisor. That was about 10 years ago. I am noticing it is now grey above my crown. (Side note: my permanent canine erupted in that spot so before the implant they had to drag the canine over to its rightful place which may have thinned the gums where the implant went?) I also have had an upper wisdom tooth erupt this last year which is coming out crooked and starting to poke me in the jaw while chewing. I will need to have it removed in the near future. The other upper wisdom tooth remained impacted (I am missing the bottom two).

    While visiting with the dentist who placed the implant we discussed a gum graft to thicken the tissue (alloderm or palatal tissue) and removing the two wisdom teeth. We would also replace the crown with something less opaque (because with following your program, my teeth are very translucent and shiny!). I would really appreciate your opinion on my case and would love to send you a couple of pictures. Not to bribe you, but I would also like to place a Zellies order soon. ❤ Thank you for all that you do to improve dental health everywhere!

  2. Not sure if it shares email addresses with the post but my email is ebaggerhooligan at gmail dot com. 😀

  3. Hello, great article, it really explains the problems that can arise with a tooth implant. It’s actually similar to my father’s hip implants, how long will they really last, they’re not permanent? It’s important to consider these factors. How long do tooth implants last on average??

    • It doesn’t matter what “product” we are talking about: a white or silver filling, an implant etc. they will all fail unless the disease that caused the initial problem is controlled. (The exception is when the cause is accidental damage – for example, if a tooth is dislocated or fractured by trauma.)
      Most “products” used by a dentist fix damage caused by a bacterial disease – either cavity bacteria or periodontal (gum) bacteria.
      Unless we end this bacterial attack, they continue to damage the new product: fillings will fail from “recurrent caries” around the edges, and the repair will be larger each time until the tooth needs a crown.(Dentists have a saying that fillings “grow up” to be crowns!)
      Implants develop peri-implantitis -the same disease that caused the tooth to fail! This happens because the bacteria now attack the new “product” – the implant in the jaw.
      It makes sense to control the disease BEFORE treatment starts. Then a filling – even a white one – can last for decades – maybe for life. I have an original white filling from over 50 years ago. It was a poor quality white filling – one of the first created – but it remains safely in my tooth! So there is no reason an implant cannot last for life…..but you need to control the periodontal bacteria – ideally before the implant is placed.

  4. I was curious about toothbrushes. In your book ” Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye” You talk about toothbrushes having a rounded tip so as not to damage teeth, but the toothbrushes you sell on your site talk about having a pointed or sharp tip that helps remove plaque. I am confused should I get one with rounded or sharp bristles?
    Thanks for any info you can give me to clear up my confusion. John Weaver

    • Today almost all toothbrushes are OK – it was twenty years ago when I began to write Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye! The most important thing is to find a brush that is not too big – but with enough bristles. This is why I like the Mouth Watcher’s brand, but there are other choices that are good…It’s how the brush is used and how clean it is that is important. I also think too many people use a “very soft” brush. If anyone is fighting gum disease – I get them to move to a firmer brush…..and they often see success in a couple of weeks!

  5. Before shaving off the tooth surface or gluing on a lumineer (which is the equivalent of sticking a contact lens to the front of his teeth) I would suggest he tries a professional “whitening” – or at least discusses this with his dentist. Sometimes that treatment will whiten teeth – and I only warn people not to make this their first approach. If he has been using the CMCS for many years – then why not take this to the next step with whitening – and then, if that is not good enough – yes, I guess the final step would be putting these fronts on his teeth. Yes, they usually need replacement but often can last 10-20 years…

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