Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically embedded into the jawbone and gum tissue. After surgery, a process of fusion occurs between the implants and the bone. This is known as osseointegration. Once osseointegration has occurred, the implants are stable enough to support a dental crown, a bridge, or a set of dentures. Patients can bite, chew, smile, and laugh with renewed confidence, just as if they had all of their natural teeth in place.
The team at our Knoxville dental practice would like to consider age in relation to dental implants candidacy. As you're about to read, how old you are when you suffer from missing teeth can make a big difference.
Can You Be Too Young for Dental Implants?
Obviously it's a bad idea to give a baby or a child dental implants. Not only is oral surgery at that age risky, but children are still growing and maturing. It's important to wait until a person has all of their permanent teeth in place and has stopped growing. Only at this point in life can dental implants be placed without requiring additional surgery or adjustment, or risk the failure of the procedure.
What's the Earliest Age a Person Can Get Dental Implants?
This can very from patient to patient. Technically the answer is 18, but the more realistic answer is the mid-to-late 20s. By this stage of life, a person will have fully matured, allowing oral surgery procedures to be performed and properly implemented.
Dental Implants in Middle Age
Many people who get dental implants placed tend to be in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. These are ideal ages for getting dental implants, and many patients experience a high degree of success when it comes to treatment at this time in life.
One of the major benefits of getting dental implants is that they prevent bone loss and gum recession later in life, which is a problem commonly associated with tooth loss. Thanks to implant dentistry, you can avoid these issues in the decades ahead, in essence improving your dental health years down the road.
Can You Be Too Old for Dental Implants?
Many people are able to get dental implants in their 60s and 70s. Technically speaking, you could get dental implants placed well into old age. However, dental implants treatment may no longer be viable or advisable at a certain point in life. For that reason, it's important to carefully discuss implant dentistry with your dentist, particularly if you are elderly. Sometimes a traditional denture is a better option when you're of advanced age.
Factors Affecting Dental Implant Candidacy in Elderly Patients
One of the key factors to consider for elderly patients is general wellness. If you suffer from medical conditions that would make oral surgery a health risk, it's better to avoid dental implants surgery and to opt for traditional removable appliances.
Dental implants treatment takes time. Several months of recovery are necessary for osseointegration to occur. Elderly patients may prefer the immediacy of a denture or bridge compared to the longer wait for completing implant dentistry treatment.
Cost can be an important factor as well. Dental implants are more expensive that removable appliances, and significantly so. Elderly patients may want to save money and opt for a traditional bridge or denture to save their money, especially if they are living on fixed incomes.
Learn More About Implant Dentistry
Are you interested in dental implants? Would you like to find out if they are an ideal option for you and your needs? If so, we encourage you to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist today. We will be more than happy to answer your questions and address your concerns.