This paper presents a novel network lifetime extension technique that uses probabilistic transmission control for distributed estimation in wireless sensor networks. In conventional techniques, only a few sensors are selected to transmit messages, and the remaining sensors are not used for measurement. Furthermore, as measurements cannot be carried out when the batteries of the selected sensors are exhausted, network lifetimes strongly depend on the battery capacity of the selected sensors. The presented technique increases the number of available sensors relative to conventional techniques. Sensors that are not selected in conventional techniques can be incorporated into the presented technique to obtain final estimates. As a result, the number of potentially usable sensors in networks increases. These newly available sensors are partitioned into several sensor sets to maintain the same estimation performance. Since observation and transmission for each sensor set are not carried out for every observation period, the network lifetime can be expected to be extended for a given estimation performance. Numerical examples are presented to validate the effectiveness of the presented technique.