It is quite common nowadays for older patients who are used to wearing dentures to explore the possibility of switching to dental implants. In fact, most older patients that do make the switch, regardless of their age, are often overjoyed with the results. While dentures are better than no teeth, they cannot compare to the functional convenience that dental implants offer.
If you are considering making the switch from dentures to dental implants, you may worry that you are too old. However, while age does play a part, meaning that you will need to ensure that your jawbone can accommodate dental implants, there is no age limit when it comes to wearing dental implants.
Your Bone Level Needs to Be Evaluated
As long as you are in good health, the most important factor to consider before getting implants is the bone level of your jawbones. For instance, it is quite normal for the jawbone to shrink as you age. There is no avoiding that. It is simply down to Mother Nature. However, even people in their nineties can still get dental implants if there is sufficient bone available.
The bone level will also be affected by other factors such as smoking, going without teeth, and wearing dentures for many years. All of these can speed up the rate of bone resorption. To begin with, you should call on the services of a periodontist who can first evaluate your bone level. Using 3-D imaging, they can work out where best to place your dental implants, and if one or more areas are in need of a bone graft beforehand.
There is Solution for Everyone
In most cases, provided the patient is in good health, dental implants are a possibility. In the past, a low bone level often meant that older patients could not benefit from dental implants. There simply wasn't enough available bone. However, nowadays, no matter how much bone there is available, there could be a solution for you.
For instance, if your jawbone is too narrow for standard implants, narrow implants can be used instead. Likewise, if your bone quality is not so good, you could opt for an implant-supported denture, which utilizes strategically placed dental implants to keep your dentures firmly in place. This is better than standard dentures, as you no longer need to use denture adhesive or have to worry about your dentures falling out.
If you are worried that age might stop you from getting dental implants, don't be. In fact, the longer you wait to get dental implants, the older you will look, and the less options there will be available to you. Get in touch with a family dentist today to find out which type of dental implant will be most suitable for you.