There is a pervasive idea out there that if you’re a senior citizen with missing teeth, your only option to rebuild your smile is with a traditional denture. You might have heard that more modern solutions like dental implants aren’t as effective for older patients. Is there any truth to this belief? Keep reading as we examine what dental implants are, how they can transform your smile, and whether you can ever be too old for them.
But First, What Are Dental Implants?
Unlike dentures or dental bridges, a dental implant replicates the entire structure of the lost tooth from the root up through the crown. It consists of a screw-shaped titanium post. Once your dentist surgically places it into your jawbone, the bone actually grows around the implant. Essentially, the implant becomes a part of you, providing enough support for a personalized dental crown.
Can You Ever Be Too Old for Dental Implants?
With each generation living longer lives than the one that came before it, many people lose their teeth due to decay or gum disease, which generally become more common as a person ages. If this has happened to you, you don’t have to settle for a poorly fitting denture. There is actually no such thing as being too old for dental implants.
Research has found that dental implants are just as successful in senior patients as they are in younger adults. The only major difference is that the process might take a little bit longer for you.
For instance, the jawbone often starts to shrink after tooth loss, rendering it capable of supporting implants. That doesn’t mean, though, that you’re ineligible. You may simply have to undergo a bone grafting procedure first in order to strengthen the bone.
It might also take you longer to recover from the implant placement surgery. Your dentist might decide to wait a month or two longer to place your new teeth, but they will be well worth the wait.
Reasons to Invest in Dental Implants
Why are dental implants so popular in the first place? Well, because they integrate with the jawbone, they provide an array of benefits that dentures and bridges alone cannot, including:
- Not slipping around while you’re trying to eat or talk
- Feeling exactly like your natural teeth
- Preventing your jawbone from deteriorating, making you look younger
- Restoring more chewing power
- Not relying on surrounding teeth for support
Adults of any age can enjoy the myriad benefits that dental implants have to offer. If you’re looking for a tooth replacement that helps you look younger, eat better, and smile more brightly, ask your dentist if you’d make a good candidate for dental implants.
About the Author
Dr. Michael Vener obtained his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in 1999 from the Temple University School of Dentistry. After he served as a Navy dentist, he pursued advanced training in periodontics and implant dentistry. In 2007, he became Board-Certified with the American Board of Periodontology. Thanks to his training, patients looking for dental implants in the Lansdale, PA area can get the whole process done under one roof at Brookwood Dental. To learn more, contact them at (215) 368-2424.