Dental implants are an ideal tooth replacement option, since they are the only treatment that actually resembles the structure of natural teeth. These versatile titanium posts are anchored into the jawbone, providing stability and durability.
However, patients losing teeth at an advanced age often worry that they are too old for dental implants. This is highly unlikely – as long as you are healthy enough for surgery, you can get dental implants at a specialised practice such as Glenholme Dental in Basingstoke.
Dental implants and elderly patients
There are quite a few reasons why dental implants may not be as ideal for elderly patients as they are for younger patients. Osteoporosis, for instance. This bone loss disease occurs can affect the quality and quantity of the jawbone. Having osteoporosis may mean dental implants will not integrate and heal properly. Also, gum disease risk can increase with old age and unfortunately it affects dental implants the same way it affects natural teeth.
However, generally speaking, studies have shown that dental implants are just as successful in older patients as in younger ones. A 2004 study reviewed success rates after five years for dental implants in 133 patients over 80 and patients under 80. They established that both groups had essentially the same success rates.
Who is eligible for dental implants?
When it comes to dental implants, overall health is more important than age. In deciding whether dental implants are the best treatment, dentists always consider general health, dental health and bone health. Dental implant surgery can be performed using a number of different anaesthesia and sedation options for anxious patients.
Oral health is another important factor for a dentist to take into consideration. Not only will they detect and eliminate gum disease, but also they will determine whether a patient will be able to perform oral hygiene. This is particularly important in some conditions such as arthritis can make it hard to brush and floss.
Finally, the jawbone should be in good shape and density in order to support dental implants, but even if one suffers from jawbone loss, pre-surgery treatments such as grafting and sinus lifts can help considerably.