Is There Any Such Thing as Being Too Old for Dental Implants?
- Author Steve Koo
- Published February 16, 2023
- Word count 503
For years, you’ve been relying on your dentures to help you chew your food and maintain a smile that you can be confident in showing off. But if your dentures have been slipping recently, you might have considered the idea of having them attached to dental implants to hold them in place. However, at a certain age, you might find yourself wondering: “Am I just too old for dental implants?”
The short answer to that question is no; there is no upper age limit for dental implant surgery. Plenty of people undergo the procedure while they’re in their 80s or later. In fact, there’s at least one case of a woman receiving dental implants when she was 100 years old!
That being said, while age is not necessarily an obstacle in and of itself, there are other potential issues to consider. To be a good candidate for dental implant surgery, you need to meet the following criteria:
• Your mouth needs to be free of gum disease, which is a leading cause of dental implant failure.
• You must be healthy enough to have implant placement surgery performed.
• You must have a sufficient level of bone density in your jaw.
In some cases, age-related factors may make it more difficult for you to fulfill these criteria. For example, statistics show that gum disease becomes more common with age, with the condition affecting around 70% of adults aged 65 or older. This may have to do with the fact that many older adults experience dry mouth, which can increase the risk of gum disease because there’s not enough saliva to wash away harmful oral bacteria.
Furthermore, if you have been missing your natural teeth for a long time, there’s a good chance that your jawbone has significantly deteriorated. Without the stimulation that your teeth provide, your body will think that the bone in your jaw is no longer needed and start to resorb it. If too much bone is lost, dental implants can’t be placed.
Finally, it should be noted that older patients are often more likely to be suffering from health conditions that prevent them from having dental implant surgery done. For this reason, your regular physician will need to clear you for the procedure beforehand.
Keep in mind, though, that oftentimes patients who can’t currently get dental implants may become eligible for them after completing certain procedures. Different forms of periodontal therapy can help you get gum disease under control. Bone grafting can be used to reverse bone loss in the areas where the implants need to be placed.
The best way to determine whether or not dental implants are the right choice for you is to schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon. They can thoroughly evaluate your mouth and determine whether you can have the surgery done right away or if preliminary work needs to be completed first. If you are able to get dental implants, you can look forward to enjoying the many life-changing benefits they offer.
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