Today, missing teeth aren’t as much of a problem as they once were, thanks to solutions like dental implants. Injuries and trauma to the mouth, tooth decay, and other periodontal diseases can all cause loss of teeth. And while it can happen to anyone, seniors, in particular, are at risk of tooth loss as they age, since aging affects the bones.
In the past, many people in Oakville with missing teeth likely wore dentures or dental bridges that could loosen and fall out, or break. And when these restorations didn’t work or weren’t accessible, some simply lived with missing teeth, forever changing how they ate, talked, and smiled.
Dental Implants: What They Are and How They Work
What are dental implants?
But now, periodontists in Oakville recommend dental implants for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are the most advanced and only complete tooth replacement method, from root to crown.
Using titanium posts that are fused with the jawbone, implants function as artificial roots that anchor your new teeth in place. And because they’re secure in the jawbone, implants provide better support for replacement dental crowns. They allow you to eat, talk, and smile confidently with new teeth that look and work like natural ones.
How Long Dental Implants Last
And the best part? Dental implants are known as “permanent” restorations because they’re fused with your jawbone. Unlike dentures, they don’t fall out. In fact, dental implants can last for decades, helping your new teeth and renewed smile last longer.
Clearly, dental implants are the most desirable tooth replacement method. If you have one or several missing teeth, the next step is to talk to a periodontist and find out if dental implants are right for you.
Unfortunately, some people have concerns about age and whether they’re too old to undergo the procedure. But is it true? Let’s find out when it may be too late to get dental implants—and if that’s really the case.
What’s the youngest age that I can get dental implants?
Anyone can lose a tooth, whether due to an accident, periodontal issue, or aging. But that doesn’t mean you can get a dental implant when you’re too young.
Of course, dental implants are not suitable for children, since their permanent teeth are yet to grow. Even when older kids start to get their permanent teeth, and they grow up to become teenangers, implants are not yet recommended. Typically, the bones—including the teeth and jawbone—continue to grow well into adolescence, so placing implants prematurely can cause them to fail as a person’s bone structure evolves.
So, what’s the earliest age a person can get dental implants? Generally, the age of 18 is a start. However, keep in mind that growth rates vary, so it’s best to talk to a periodontist to confirm when it’s right to get implants.
Am I too old for dental implants?
The short answer is no; you can’t be too old to get dental implants. In fact, since aging is one of the most common factors in tooth loss, many seniors in their 60s to 80s get dental implants. Unlike dentures, implants don’t need to be readjusted or lose their fit. And unlike bridges, they last longer because they help replace root and crown.
Benefits of Dental Implants for Seniors
Let’s look at these long-lasting benefits of dental implants:
- Better diet and nutrition
- Reduced bone loss
- Improved self-esteem in social situations
- Better quality of life.
Oldest Age for Dental Implants
Despite these benefits—and like any treatment—a periodontist needs to ensure that you are a good candidate for dental implants. While age isn’t necessarily a factor, there are related issues, such as pre-existing conditions and medications, that may cause complications. Your periodontist needs to know about these so they can determine if dental implants are right for you.
Here are some age-related risk factors that can prevent seniors from getting dental implants:
- Bone loss: Along with the effects of aging, the risk of bone loss increases if teeth have been missing for many years. Since it requires a bone graft to treat, the prolonged procedure and recovery may not be the most comfortable for elderly patients.
- Pre-existing conditions: Cancer, diabetes, and gum disease can prolong the recovery period, along with smoking, certain medications, and alcohol consumption.
- Bisphosphonate: In some cases, osteoporosis, a common condition among the elderly, requires medication that affects the cells in the bone and causes complications
- Post-op care: Many seniors need additional care and support at home, especially after undergoing a procedure. Without these, elderly patients are prone to forgetting post-op care instructions, leading to complications and implant failure.
Dental Implants at Any Age: Talk to Our Periodontists in Oakville
As you can see, age doesn’t matter as much for getting dental implants. Young adults and seniors alike would greatly benefit from permanent, longer-lasting tooth replacement. And while there are a few age-related risks that older populations may face, it’s important to remember that dental implants offer a wealth of dietary, self-esteem, and quality of life benefits for everyone.
Still, if you’re unsure whether implants are right for you, the best thing to do is talk to a periodontist. At Periodontal Associates, our team of periodontists are here to help you smile again with a full set of healthy teeth. Our periodontists in Oakville will assess a number of factors to ensure that age won’t pose a risk—and, most importantly, that you’ll enjoy many years to come with a restored smile.
Want to learn more about the best time to get dental implants? Talk to our periodontists in Oakville for more about age-related considerations, and how dental implants can help seniors and people of all ages.