How Long Do Implants Last?

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Since our last blog, we’ve had a consultation with a man who’d had a quote for dental implants at another practice. Nothing extraordinary about that I hear you say… except that the dentists had told him that his implants will last a lifetime.


Which prompted some immediate questions from me, like for instance

  • who’s lifetime, the dentist, the patient or the implant?!
  • who’s going to guarantee those implants for a life-time?

This is usually the case at many dental practices because it’s easy making longevity-promises but this could cause a huge amount of problems in the long run especially to people without a back-up plan!

Here’s what we do at Dentist Preston, to ensure that our implants survive for the longest time possible;

  1. Admit that implants can and do fail both short term and long term (denial is indefensible, see above)
  2. Keep abreast of the latest evidence-based studies on what causes implant failure and what the best failure avoidance strategies are recommended – (Like the European Forum on Peri-implantitis held in London in January 2010)

Having a clear, well defined follow up protocol for each and every implant patient, tailored to individual needs e.g.

  • Regular implant-hygiene sessions with our trained hygienists
  • Bi-annual inspections (x-rays when indicated) with the implantologist
  • Hygienists trained to carry out our screening protocol for signs of early problems (e.g. the beginning of peri-implantitis)


Giving patients the right information

  • Peri-implantitis leads to implant failure if undetected
  • 15% of implant patients will suffer from some form of peri-implantitis (from recent long term studies in Europe)
  • Patients who have lost their teeth from gum disease have a much higher risk of losing implants
  • Patients who don’t manage to keep plaque off the implants also at higher risk
  • Patients who smoke have a much higher risk of peri-implantitis and implant failure
  • Patients don’t know when they haver peri-implantitis because it doesn’t hurt, right up until the implant tooth falls out!

But look on the bright side!

  • With our advanced technology we are able to detect problems early using our screening protocol
  • We can treat them easily in the early stages
  • Late stage treatment is more complex but still possible with our huge amount of experience

And most of all, as with teeth – keep them clean, stay off the cigarettes and please turn up for routine checks and maintenance with one of our highly trained dentists. If you ever need to contact us at any point, please feel free to call 01772651130 or contact us via email at and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


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