If you’re a certain age, you may have questions about whether you’re too old to have dental implants. You may wonder whether dental implants work just as well for older patients as they do for younger ones. You may also wonder whether your dental implants have a different success rate based on your age.
Well, there’s good news… Dental implants are just as effective and long-lasting in older patients as they are in younger ones. In fact, dental implants can change the lives of older patients for the better, giving them more confidence and improved physical and mental health. In this article, we’ll talk about “how old is too old for dental implants”…
With people living longer and healthier lives, it is not uncommon for people to reach the ages of 85 or 90 years. During this time, many lose their teeth to decay or gum disease and end up with partial of full dentures, which cause further bone and tooth loss. Dentures are often an annoyance and when they become loose, the gums become sore, or eating becomes very difficult.
As you age though, you may love to socialize, eat good food, and share great times with family and friends, without the embarrassment and difficulty that comes with the use of dentures. The quality of life is very important at this stage, and dentists can contribute greatly to improve it. Dental implants dramatically improve the quality of life in older patients by letting them eat better, get better nutrition, stay more social, and lead active and healthy lifestyles.
Dental implants can be as effective in older people, whether 85 or 90 years old, and heal with a similar predictability as in younger patients. We feel dentists should recommend dental implants rather than dentures in most patients, including older ones. Dental implants are the standard of care for the replacement of missing teeth.
So, 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, thereby improving the quality of their life. A 2004 study reviewed success rates after 5 years for dental implants in patients over 80 years and those that were under 80. This study found that the two groups had the same success rates.
When dentists evaluate older patients for a possibility of getting dental implants, they look at the following factors:
- General health
- Oral health
- Bone health
The elderly recover from dental implant surgery at a somewhat slower rate than younger patients meaning we often wait 4 months to place the teeth rather than 3. Highly trained dentists will ensure that the process is as gentle as possible.
Like all patients, elderly patients may experience discomfort for 3 to 5 days, but this can be treated with mild painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines. Most patients eat soft foods until it is comfortable enough to start a normal diet.
At the Harbour Pointe Oral Surgery & Advanced Dental Implant Center, we specialize in dental implants for patients of all ages. We keep the needs of every individual patient in mind when treating them and ensure that the procedure is as painless and effective as possible.
So, what are you waiting for? Whatever your age, it’s never too late to get a dental implant. We have many patients that say it was the best investment they made! Your dentist will work with you, and treat you based on your unique history. Consult your dentist and start the process of restoring your smile and social life…today!