Dental Implant over 60
As we age, our dental health can be affected just as our bones and the rest of our bodies! Fortunately, there are a number of restorative options available to patients of all ages including dental bridges, dentures, and dental implants. Dental implants are often the better choice for patients who can endure implant placement surgery and the extensive healing time that goes along with it. Are the restorations such as bridges and dentures sit on top of the gums and over time, can lead to bone deterioration. Dental implants are screwed directly into the jaw bone and help stimulate bone regeneration, and they have the added benefit of looking much more natural in comparison to other restorations.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
The overall health of the patient is the main deciding factor when determining if you are a candidate for dental implants or not. Implants are invasive and require outpatient surgery and about six months of healing time so it is important that your dentist and implant surgeon have a full and complete medical history as well as a current list of all the medication that you are taking. Patients who suffer from a degenerative bone disease, such as osteoporosis, may experience tooth loss and may not think that they are a candidate for dental implants. If you are otherwise healthy, your implant surgeon can perform a preparatory surgery, such as a bone graft or gum graft, to ensure a secure foundation and success of the implant.
A dental implant may be allowed to heal for up to six months in order to ensure full integration with the bone structure before the implant can be restored with a dental prosthesis. It is vital that you understand your limitations during this healing time which may affect your diet and lifestyle.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants are highly beneficial for a few reasons. Aside from the aesthetics, dental implants are a much more secure option as opposed to a bridge or denture. Dental implants help support bone structure and can greatly improve a patient's quality of life. Patients missing one or more teeth may rely on their remaining healthy teeth to compensate for open spaces and tend to chew on one side of the mouth, applying unnecessary stress to their remaining teeth. Dental implants restore the form and function of the entire mouth and help ensure the health of remaining teeth!
Dentures vs. Dental Implants
Dental implants require surgery for placement and traditional dentures do not. This can be a major factor in determining your treatment. If a patient is not healthy enough to endure implant surgery and the extensive healing time, a traditional denture may be the best option.
Traditional dentures have a couple of drawbacks. First and foremost, they are not as stable or secure as dental implants. Dentures rely on denture adhesive and retention to stay in place but because they sit on top of the gum, they can contribute to a deterioration of jaw bone and become ill-fitting. Most patients find that traditional dentures are also much less comfortable than dental implants and implant supported dentures.
Cost may be another deciding factor for the patient. It is important to consider that dental implants rarely need to be replaced where as a denture will likely need to be re-fitted or replaced every 10 to 15 years. A dental implant can last a lifetime though the restoration, the crown or denture, can chip or crack and need to be replaced. The lifespan of a dental implant in comparison to a traditional denture is much longer so in the end, may actually be more cost-effective.