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How Old is Too Old For Dental Implants?


Have you wondered…

dentist bethesda

  • Are people 85 and over good candidates for dental implants?
  • Should dentists recommend dental implants over conventional dentures in older individuals?
  • How old is too old for dental implants?

People are living longer and healthier lives and it is not uncommon for people to reach 85, 90, or even older ages.  Many however, loose their teeth over time due to decay or gum disease and end up with partial or full dentures which cause further bone and tooth loss resulting in total debilitation. The dentures become loose, gum tissue becomes sore, and eating becomes very difficult. The elderly love to stay social, eat good, and share great times with family and friends without the embarrassment and difficulties that come with denture use. The quality of life is especially important at this stage and we need to do everything we can to improve it.

Dental implants dramatically improve life quality for many older individuals by letting them eat better, get better nutrition, stay more social, and lead active and vital lifestyles.

Are elderly good candidates for dental implants?

Yes. Dental implants are equally effective in older people, whether 85, 90, or even 95 years old, and heal with the same predictability as in younger patients. Osteoporosis, common in older people, does not negatively effect the outcome. Even with bone loss, dental implants can be placed successfully without bone grafting.

Dental implants vs. conventional dentures?

Dentists should recommend dental implants instead of conventional dentures in every patient. Dental implants are now the standard of care for replacement of missing teeth. Conventional dentures cause irreversible damage to the jaw bone and significantly compromise patient’s chewing function, and therefore should be avoided.

How old is too old for dental implants?

The fact is no age is too old for dental implants. A reasonably healthy person with even a few years of life expectancy can safely and predictably have dental implants and improve their quality of life. There is no reason to let anyone suffer through the last years of their lives by loose dentures and inability to eat, speak, and keeping them from a vital and social lifestyle.

How is the recovery from dental implants?

Dental implant placement, when performed properly by trained surgeons, is a gentle procedure. Recovery from dental implant placement is significantly faster and easier than teeth extraction. Some discomfort may last for 3-5 days which is effectively managed by Tylenol or Ibuprofen. The implants maybe either restored immediately on the same day with a fixed denture or allowed to heal for 2-3 months before supporting the new teeth.

What are the treatment options?

First option is placement of two to four implants for support of a removable overdenture. This options provides great stability for the overdenture and significantly improves function and comfort. The second option is placement of a fixed prosthesis on four to six implants. The fixed prosthesis, also known as a hybrid, offers more comfort and resemblance to natural teeth as it does not have any denture flanges or extensions.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Dental implants allow patients to eat any food they want comfortably and get the necessary nutrition. Implants effectively support the overlying teeth and prevent them from movement and accidental dislodging. Additionally, dental implants preserve the jaw bone and prevent bone loss that occurs from conventional dentures.
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