Am I Too Old for Dental Implants?
Dental implants offer Downtown Chicago patients the optimal tooth replacement solution. They outlast alternatives like dentures and bridges, and dental implants function more effectively than the other options as well.
Patients who are considering dental implants in Illinois sometimes express concern that they are too old to be candidates for the treatment. That worry is unfounded, though. Additionally, the need for proper nutrition and the ability to eat a wide variety of foods is a vital necessity at any age. Dental implants can also restore lost confidence in older patients and increase their oral comfort tremendously.
The good news is that dental implants can be placed in adult patients of any age, as long as sufficient bone is present to support the implant. The oral surgeon will consider a number of characteristics, such as overall health and condition of the teeth and gums, when determining a patient’s appropriateness for dental implants, but age is not on that list.
Dental implants are so effective because they integrate with the bone, becoming a permanent part of the mouth’s structure. In that way, the jawbone atrophy that occurs when a tooth is lost may jeopardize the dental implant process.
Older patients may lose more bone over time, particularly if the tooth has been missing for years. Even patients with significant bone loss may still be able to take advantage of implants, though. The implants can be placed strategically to maximize available bone, or a preliminary bone augmentation graft surgery can provide supplemental bone at the dental implant site.
Although there is no upper age limit for dental implant candidates, some patients are too young to qualify for the devices. Dental implants should not be placed until growth is complete and the jaw bone is fully developed.
If dental implants are inserted to the jaw prematurely, they may shift out of the proper position as the jaw bone continues to evolve. Some younger patients may qualify for dental implants in conjunction with an overarching orthodontic treatment plan, but in most cases, patients should wait at least until their late teens before pursuing dental implants.
Rest assured that no patient is too old for dental implants, but other factors, such as general oral health, may influence the success of the procedure. Consult our dual-degree Chicago oral surgeons at ORA® Oral Surgery & Implant Studio to find out if dental implants will be effective in your case. Call at 312-328-9000 to schedule your visit.