Yes, dental implants are just as viable for seniors as they are for patients of all other age groups. Dr. Templeton specializes in dental implants for seniors, and he can advise seniors on the best options based on their individual health needs. If you’re a senior interested in dental implants, here are some things to consider.
Age Alone Does Not Determine the Success of Dental Implants
As we age, we become susceptible to various health problems that could impact our oral health. However, it is a common myth that dental implants are unsuitable for senior citizens because of their age. A patient’s oral health (and general overall health) that will determine if a patient is a good candidate for dental implants.
Some Types of Dental Implants are Better Options for Seniors
If you have just a missing tooth or two, single dental implants are an obvious solution. If you have multiple missing teeth, or problem teeth, then an all-on-4 dental implant will likely be a better option.
Does Osteoporosis affect the Success of Dental Implants for Seniors?
No, in most cases osteoporosis does not affect the success of dental implants. Many people are surprised to learn that patients with osteoporosis have the same healing time as younger patients with average bone density when it comes to dental implants.
With that said, advanced cases of osteoporosis may compromise the volume of the jawbone. In these cases, bone grafting may be necessary to ensure that there is enough healthy bone to support the implant.
Factors That Can Affect The Success of Dental Implants
While some instances can impede the success of dental implants for seniors, Dr. Templeton is well-versed in providing the right solutions to his patients. Even with these concerns, seniors may still be a good candidate for dental implants. Dr. Templeton will assess your unique situation and determine the best options for you.
Here are some factors that come into play when predicting the success of dental implants:
- Significant Bone Volume Loss – If you have suffered from significant bone loss or have endured a long-term absence of your natural teeth, there may not be enough bone remaining to support your dental implant. In this case, you may need bone grafting along with your dental implant.
- Certain Medical Conditions – Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or uncontrolled gum disease can lead to complications with dental implants.
- Oral Habits – If you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, this can put too much pressure on your dental implant and lead to failure.
Alternatives to Dental Implants for Seniors
Some seniors in their later years may determine that dental implants are not worth the investment. In this case, dentures may be a viable solution. It’s no secret that dentures are far less expensive than dental implants. However, you should keep in mind that dentures will require more maintenance and upkeep in the long run, and compared to dental implants, they are far inferior.
However, we realize that dental implants aren’t always the right solution for some seniors so if it makes sense to go with dentures for whatever reason, we will tell you and refer you to a practice that can help you with dentures as we don’t provide them to our patients.
How Old is Too Old for Dental Implants?
As we age, our teeth are more prone to damage, and the risk of tooth loss increases. However, every patient is unique and every patient ages differently. We’ve helped seniors as young as 55 and as old as 85 and every age in between. Age itself isn’t a deterrent when seeking dental implants. Seniors need to be evaluated individually to determine what solution is best for them. For most seniors, dental implants are a viable option that can be life-changing!
If you’re a senior, the best way to find out if dental implants are right for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Templeton. He will do a thorough examination and outline the best solutions for you and help you understand the costs associated with those recommendations. He’ll also help you determine what insurance coverage you might have and what financing options are available to you. And if you have a Medicare supplement plan for dental implants, he’ll help you sort out what coverage you might have and what your deductible will be.