What to Know About Dental Implants for Seniors
According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 1 in 5 adults age 65 or over have lost all of their teeth. Tooth loss has a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, especially if the teeth are not replaced right away. Dentures are typically one of the more common tooth replacement options for seniors, but these days, as people learn more about the incredible health and social benefits of dental implants, they’re quickly gaining popularity as a favorite smile restoration solution for seniors.
Unfortunately some people are under the impression that seniors are not good candidates for dental implants, but that’s just not true. There’s no age limit for dental implants. At University Dental in San Diego, we have performed thousands of successful implant surgeries for seniors. Read on for more about what you need to know about dental implants for seniors.
#1. You’re never too old for dental implants
Yes, we’ve already mentioned this, but it bears repeating. There’s no age limit for dental implants. Dental implants are equally successful in older people as they are in younger people. There are some factors that could affect your candidacy for implants, including smoking, untreated gum disease, certain medications, or radiation therapy—but age is not one of them.
#2. Dental implants are more comfortable than dentures
Dentures are a common tooth replacement option, but because they don’t replace the tooth root, they are not as sturdy or firm as dental implants. Dentures can slip around in the mouth when you chew or yawn, causing not only physical discomfort, but also the discomfort of embarrassment. Dental implants, on the other hand, are surgically inserted into the jaw, where they bond with the bone, creating a firm and sturdy foundation. Dental implants do not slip. They stay in place when you laugh, smile, eat, and chew, just like natural teeth.
#3. Osteoporosis doesn’t have to get in the way of dental implants
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone that affects nearly 20% of women over 50 and 5% of men over 50. Osteoporosis is characterized by a decrease in bone mineral density and bone mass. Some seniors are told that they are not good candidates for dental implants because of their osteoporosis, but in most cases, this is not true. Osteoporosis does not have to get in the way of dental implants. A highly skilled and experienced implant specialist like Dr. Hage will offer a range of options, including bone grafting or zygomatic implants, depending on the needs of each individual. If you’ve been told you’re not a candidate for dental implants by one dentist, come into University Dental and get a second opinion with Dr. Hage.
#4. Dental implants help preserve the shape and structure of your face
Your teeth and your jaw have a symbiotic relationship. Your jaw helps hold the teeth in place, and the pressure of chewing helps keep your jaw stimulated. This stimulation signals the brain to continue sending nutrients to the area so the jaw and teeth both stay nourished and strong. When a tooth is lost or extracted, however, the lack of stimulation causes the jawbone to atrophy. Within six months of tooth extraction, it begins to reabsorb into the body. As the jawbone continues to atrophy, the shape and structure of the face changes. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement solution that prevents or slows jawbone loss. By replacing the tooth root with a titanium post, dental implants provide the jawbone with the stimulation it needs to stay strong. Which means your face maintains its shape and structure, and you keep looking like you.
#5. Dental implants help maximize your quality of life
Dental implants restore your full radiant smile and give you sturdy, functional teeth for nourishing your body with the foods you love. Many seniors resign themselves to the physical and social discomfort of missing teeth or dentures. But dental implants provide freedom from those discomforts, so you can laugh, smile and speak comfortably and with confidence. If you thought your days of good food, freedom, and laughter were behind you, think again! Dental implants can help restore not only your smile but also your quality of life.
Additionally, dental implants require the same basic care that natural teeth do: brush twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist every four to six months. As with your natural teeth, you’ll also want to avoid sugary drinks, refrain from opening packages with your teeth, and do your best to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine. Your oral health is intrinsically connected to your overall health, so the better care you take of them both, the brighter your smile will be.
Dental implants in San Diego | University Dental
University Dental is San Diego’s top implant dentistry practice. If you’re seeking dental implants, we can help—no matter what your age! As one of the best implant dentists in San Diego, Dr. Armin Hage is committed to patient education, comfort, and satisfaction. When you come in for your consultation, Dr. Hage will perform a thorough evaluation, educate you about your options, and help you make an informed decision about your dental care. Give us a call at (619) 473-2565 to make an appointment with Dr. Hage today.