You're never too old to have a beautiful smile, and as you get older and age starts to take its toll on your teeth, you may need to get dentures fitted to restore the beauty of your smile. However, there is another way to improve your smile that many older people don't even consider: dental implants.
Many older people are put off having dental implants because they require invasive surgical procedures to fit. However, this should not put you off if you are considering having dental implants fitted in later life, and many people in their 80s and 90s have dental implants fitted every year.
Can all older people have dental implants fitted?
To fit dental implants into a mouth, a dental surgeon must cut open a small portion of soft tissue in the mouth to access the jawbone. The surgeon then fits anchors into the jawbone, into which the 'tooth' part of the implant is fitted, before closing the incision and allowing it to heal naturally.
As far as surgical procedures go, having dental implants fitted is relatively straightforward and minimally invasive. No matter your age, you will probably be eligible for dental implants if you are in reasonably good health and can still heal relatively quickly after injuries. Even if your health is less than optimal, your doctor or dentist may still recommend dental implants if you are having trouble eating and drinking properly with dentures or your natural teeth.
However, any surgical procedure becomes a more risky proposition later in life, and you should consult closely with both your dentist and doctor if you are considering having implants fitted. Some common age-related illnesses can affect your blood pressure and/or prevent your blood from clotting swiftly—if you suffer from these ailments, you may not be suitable for implants.
What if I have osteoporosis?
Because dental implants are fitted directly into the jawbone, many older people suffering from osteoporosis assume they cannot have implants fitted because of their weakened bones. Despite this, many older osteoporosis patients are good candidates for dental implants—the jawbone is not frequently affected by osteoporosis, and even if it has been weakened, a skilled dental surgeon can fit special anchors that will keep dental implants firmly in place.
What are the advantages of dental implants over dentures?
If your dentist says you are suitable for dental implants, there are numerous reasons to choose them over conventional dentures:
- Low maintenance: Dental implants do not need to be taken out and cleaned every night, and they do not require messy denture adhesives to stay in place.
- Natural looks: Even top-quality dentures don't look as realistic and natural as dental implants, and a well-fitted implanted tooth looks practically indistinguishable from a natural tooth.
- Easier to use: Unlike many denture wearers, implant users do not have to avoid specific foods or change the way they chew.
- Long-lasting: Many people are put off of dental implants due to their higher cost, but implants are a better long-term investment. When properly cared for, an implanted tooth can last for well over a decade before requiring repairs.
Reach out to a practitioner of cosmetic dentistry for more information.