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Dental Implants: How Safe and Durable Are They Really?

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A dentist and a woman after dental implant restoration treatment looking at her teeth in a mirror

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed into your jawbone. Once in place, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them. Many people opt for dental implants because they provide a permanent solution for missing teeth.


Dental implants are made of titanium, a metal that is well-suited for implants because it fuses with your jawbone through a process called osseointegration. This creates a very durable support system for replacement teeth. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. Unlike bridges or dentures, implants do not require crowning or bonding adjacent healthy teeth, and they feel completely natural.


Although any surgery does come with risks, dental implant surgery is typically very safe when performed by an experienced dentist or oral surgeon. Infection risks are minimized with sterile procedures and antibiotics. The titanium material is biocompatible, meaning your body accepts it well with little risk of rejection or allergic reaction. Dental implants also do not damage surrounding teeth or soft tissues like traditional bridges sometimes can.

Post-Procedure Care

Proper aftercare following your implant surgery is important to ensure healing and longevity. Your dentist will provide detailed instructions for cleaning the area, controlling minor bleeding, managing pain or swelling, and avoiding certain activities. You will need to be very gentle with the implant site for several weeks as your jawbone fuses around the implant. Success rates are very high when patients closely follow their dentist’s recommendations during this healing period.

With a skilled dentist, attentive aftercare, and your commitment to good oral health, dental implants can provide a safe, natural-looking smile for life. While the initial procedure can be costly, implants often prove more economical and longer-lasting than other tooth replacement options. For many people, the investment in dental implants is well worth it.

The Safety of Dental Implants: Potential Risks and Complications

Dental implants are considered a safe and durable treatment option, but as with any surgical procedure, there are some risks to be aware of.


Any time a foreign object is placed in the body, there is a chance of infection. Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to minimize this risk, but if vou notice swellina, redness, or pus around the implant site, contact them right away. With prompt treatment, most infections can be cleared up without issue.

Nerve damage

The roots of natural teeth are embedded in bone, but nerves and blood vessels also run through the area. Placing the implant requires drilling into the jawbone, and there is a small chance these tissues could be damaged in the process. This can cause temporary or permanent numbness, tingling, or pain in the lower lip, chin, or adjacent teeth. Your dentist takes precautions to avoid the nerves, but some risk remains.

Failure to integrate

In rare cases, the jawbone does not fully integrate with the implant. This is more likely to happen in patients with certain medical conditions like diabetes or osteoporosis, or those who smoke or drink heavily. If detected early, the implant can typically be removed and replaced once the bone has healed. Quitting harmful habits and closely following your dentist’s aftercare instructions can help minimize this risk.

While dental implants do come with some risks, choosing an experienced dentist and maintaining good oral health and hygiene can help ensure a successful outcome with minimal complications. For most patients, the benefits of a permanent, natural-looking tooth replacement far outweigh the risks. If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your dentist.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last? Factors Affecting Durability

Implant Material

The material used for your dental implants plays a significant role in determining how long they will last. Titanium is considered the gold standard due to its durability and biocompatibility. Titanium implants can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. Ceramic implants tend to be more prone to fractures and may not have as long of a lifespan.

Bone Density

Dental implants rely on the jawbone for support. People with strong, healthy jawbones tend to be good candidates for dental implants. If your jawbone has experienced significant bone loss, bone grafts or other procedures may be needed to build up bone before implants can be placed. Without sufficient bone density, the implants are more prone to becoming loose or failing over time.

Oral Hygiene

Just like your natural teeth, dental implants require diligent brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups and cleanings to maximize their durability. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar can build up around implants just like teeth. If left untreated, this can lead to inflammation, infection, and bone loss, jeopardizing the implants. Be sure to brush implants at least twice a day, floss daily, and see your dentist for professional cleanings and exams every six months.


Certain habits like teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism), nail biting, or chewing on hard objects can put extra stress on dental implants and reduce their longevity. Your dentist may recommend wearing a night guard, orthodontic treatment, or making a conscious effort to break these habits. Smoking also negatively impacts dental implant success and durability. Quitting smoking will significantly improve the chances of your implants lasting long-term.

By choosing high-quality implants, maintaining good oral health, and avoiding harmful habits, dental implants can provide a permanent solution to missing teeth. With the proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last a lifetime. Be sure to discuss any concerns you have about the durability or longevity of your implants with your dentist.

Maintaining Your Dental Implants for Optimal


To ensure your dental implants last as long as possible, diligent maintenance is key. After your implants have fully integrated with your jawbone, typically 3 to 6 months after placement, you’ll need to see your dentist for follow-up care every 6 to 12 months.

Practice good oral hygiene

Brush your implants at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste, paying extra attention to the gum line. Floss or use interdental brushes to clean between teeth and around implants. An oral irrigator can also help remove debris. Keeping your implants plaque-free will help prevent inflammation and infection.

Limit staining and acidic foods

Avoid tobacco, coffee, tea, and red wine which can stain implants. Minimize acidic foods like citrus fruits that may damage the implants’ porcelain crown. These lifestyle changes will help keep your implants looking natural and prevent weakening the crown or abutment.

Watch for signs of infection

Although rare, implants can develop infections. See your dentist right away if you notice pain, swelling, redness, or pus around an implant. An infection requires prompt treatment with antibiotics to avoid damage. Your dentist may need to remove the implant to fully clear the infection before replacing it.

Get regular dental checkups

At your follow-up visits, your dentist will examine your implants and surrounding gum tissue for any signs of inflammation, infection or bone loss. X-rays are often taken to check on your jawbone and make sure the implants remain securely fused. Your dentist can then take action to correct any problems early on and ensure the long-term success of your dental implants.

With diligent at-home care and professional monitoring and maintenance, dental implants can remain functional for 20 years or more. Be sure to do your part to keep your implants plaque-free, your gums healthy, and see your dentist regularly so you can smile with confidence for life.

Dental Implants FAQ – Your Top Questions Answered

How long do dental implants last?

The good news is that dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. Studies show that implants have a success rate of over 95% after 10 years. However, implants do require diligent at-home hygiene and regular dental checkups to avoid any issues. If implants are well cared for, there’s no reason they can’t last 20 years or more.

Are dental implants painful?

Dental implant surgery is typically performed under local anesthesia to ensure your comfort. You may experience some discomfort or swelling for a few days after surgery as your mouth heals. Over-the-counter pain medication is usually sufficient to manage any pain during recovery.

How much do dental implants cost?

The cost of dental implants can vary depending on factors like the material used and how many implants you need. On average, a single dental implant in the U.S. ranges from $1000 to $3000. Complex cases requiring additional procedures may cost $10,000 or more. Many dental insurance plans cover implants, and some dentists offer payment plans to make this treatment more affordable.

Are dental implants noticeable?

Dental implants are designed to blend in naturally with your existing teeth.
The implant post is placed below the gum line, and a crown is custom-made to match your natural tooth size, shape, and color. When done properly by an experienced dentist, implants should look and feel just like real teeth.

Do dental implants require special care?

To keep your dental implants functioning well and looking their best, you’ll need to practice good daily oral hygiene. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, limiting sugary and acidic foods that can damage enamel, and visiting your dentist for professional cleanings and exams. With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last for many years.

Can dental implants be removed if needed?

Dental implants are designed to be a permanent solution, and removal should only be considered as a last resort in certain situations. Removal of implants requires minor surgery and may damage the surrounding bone, so most dentists will first try to treat any issues to save the implant before considering removal. However, if an implant fails or becomes infected beyond repair, it can be removed. The dentist will then determine if the site requires bone grafting before placing a new implant. Are you looking for a dental implant in Marietta? Request an appointment here: Schedule Appointment or call Marietta Dental Professionals at 770-514-5055 . We also serve neighboring towns including Kennesaw, Smyrna, East Cobb, Roswell, Acworth, Woodstock, Vinings, Alpharetta, and Cumberland.

Posted on behalf of Marietta Dental Professionals

2551 Roswell Rd., Building 100
Marietta, GA 30062

Phone: Call 770-514-5055

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