Older patients who have lost their teeth often find conventional dentures increasingly more difficult to wear and chew with. The reason for this is because dentures cause continued resorption and shrinkage of the underlying bone, which leads to denture instability and poor support. Many patients resort to denture adhesives only to find that they make the situation more frustrating and uncomfortable. Considering the longer life spans and healthier lifestyles of the elderly, the loss of teeth and use of dentures negatively impacts their livelihood, quality of life, and confidence. Dental implants can have the opposite effect, offering elderly patients a whole new life—eating better, smiling more, and feeling more confident and happy.
The fact is that no one is too old for dental implants. Replacement of missing teeth with dental implants can be done safely in patients 85 years old and beyond with great success. As few as two dental implants can increase the support and retention of dentures, helping patients to eat more comfortably and lessen their worries about loosening or falling dentures. With four to six implants, patients can move from a removable overdenture to a fixed hybrid design, which can truly transform their lives. And, for those patients with significant bone loss who may not be a good candidate for bone grafting augmentation, mini dental implants can offer enhanced support of their teeth.
Enhanced support and comfort from implant-supported teeth can drastically improve an elderly person’s quality of life, even if they don’t anticipate living many more years. Additional facts to consider:
- Osteoporosis does not affect the healing and prognosis of dental implants
- Implants can be placed with a non-invasive technique, requiring no incisions
- Recovery is quick with only mild discomfort for a few days
- Dental implants will provide remarkable support and retention for dentures while also preventing further damage to the patient’s bone
- For those who don’t want a removable set of teeth, fixed hybrid teeth can be done on four implants
- Getting older is inevitable but, when it comes to your teeth, feeling old is still an option!