Dental Implants over 60
Dental health is not always determined by age but as we get older, it is not uncommon for patients to have failing teeth and you need dental restorations to bring their smile back! There are a number of restorative options available to patients including dental bridges, partial and full dentures, and dental implants. Dental implants usually look more natural and have the added benefit of supporting bone structure. Traditional restorations such as bridges and dentures sit on top of the gums and can lead to bone deterioration whereas dental implants are secured into the jawbone and help stimulate bone regeneration, keeping the bone structure healthy.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
One of the biggest factors that will come into play when you and your dentist are determining if you are a candidate for dental implants is your overall health. Implants are invasive and do require surgery so it is important that your dentist has a complete and current list of your medical history and medications that you are taking. Patients who suffer from degenerative bone diseases, such as osteoporosis, can experience tooth loss and may think that they are not able to receive a dental implant but if you are otherwise healthy, a simple bone graft can be performed prior to implant placement to ensure a secure foundation for the implant.
The healing time for dental implants can be up to six months so it is important that you are healthy enough to endure not only the implant placement procedure but the change in your diet and lifestyle that would be required to allow your implant to heal fully.
What benefits are there to dental implants?
One major benefit of receiving dental implants is an improved quality of life! Patients missing one or more teeth tend to rely on their remaining teeth to compensate for open spaces and may tend to chew on one side of the mouth which can apply unnecessary stress to remaining healthy teeth. Patients may also change their diet to avoid difficulty chewing foods such as meat or some fruits and vegetables which can have a negative impact on their overall health.
Dentures vs. Dental Implants
Some patients may find that a traditional denture is the best option for them. Dentures do not require any surgery and are typically placed within a couple of weeks. If a patient is not healthy enough for dental implants, a traditional denture may be the best treatment available.
A major drawback to traditional dentures is that they are not as secure and stable as dental implants. Dentures rely on adhesives and suction to stay in place and can often slip when the patient eats or speaks. Dental implants are securely placed into the jawbone and will not shift during eating or speaking.
As far as cost, dentures are less costly to start but often require replacement every 10 or 15 years whereas a dental implant may never need to be replaced! An implant crown can chip or crack but the implant itself, which is the more expensive part, can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.
Dental implants are a great way to restore your mouth and improve your quality of life! If you were missing one or more teeth, speak with your dentist to determine if you are a candidate for dental implants.