Are Dental Implants Right for Seniors?

The majority of seniors in America are missing at least one tooth. A gap in your smile can affect your self-esteem, in addition to changing how you speak and limiting your ability to bite and chew. Restoring your oral health can take a number of different paths thanks to the treatment options available today. If you're a senior, don't overlook dental implants. They're a permanent and realistic-looking choice that works great for the majority of senior patients we see. Find out why dental implants work so well for older adults and what to know before choosing them.

Dental Implants Work Well at All Ages

Don't assume that dental implants are a type of restoration that only works well for a certain age group. Because of the longevity of dental implants, implants are indeed a good fit for younger patients who lose a tooth due to an accident or injury. However, seniors also enjoy having a tooth restoration that doesn't require a lot of special care and is designed for longevity. These implants blend in with the rest of your smile for a natural look that doesn't stand out. If you lose a majority of your teeth, implant-supported dentures are much more secure than traditional dentures.

Preparations for Getting Dental Implants

Your dentist will assess your current dental health and determine if you're a good fit for this kind of restoration work. Senior patients who lost their teeth years ago may need bone or gum grafts to prepare for dental implants in Clayton. You need a healthy amount of both kinds of tissue where the implant will go so that your jaw integrates with the post for a secure grip. If it's been a few years since your teeth were originally extracted, your jaw bone and gum tissue have likely shrunk over time.  

When to Consider Dental Implants

Unlike many other restoration options, dental implants work great even if you're only missing a single tooth. Yet they're also valuable for filling in larger gaps, or even anchoring full plate dentures that cover both the upper and lower jaws. You can replace everything from a single tooth to all of your teeth at once with your dentist's help.

Dental Implants Cost Considerations

Dental implants do come with a higher upfront cost than some other restoration options. However, consider the long-term cost of having to replace bridges, crowns, or partial dentures on a regular basis every 5 to 15 years. Dental implants can have much longer lifespan than other restorations with the right care, ensuring that your investment is worthwhile. You'll also find that getting implants that support multiple teeth can cost less per tooth than getting them all replaced by single tooth implants.

The Basic Dental Implant Process

Your dentist will start with a consultation and examination to determine if you're a good fit for this kind of restoration work. If you will need any grafting work to restore your gums or jaw bone tissue, you'll discuss and plan it first. After healing from preparation work, the dentist can schedule the procedure to place the titanium post that is the base of the dental implant. You'll experience a little mild discomfort and then need to wait a few months to heal. When the implant post is healed, the dentist can install the custom-made crowns that cover the post. If you're getting a partial or full denture instead, it's installed the same way. You'll be ready to smile, chew, and speak as usual again once you are fully healed.

Choosing a Clayton Dentist for the Procedure

You'll get the best results with dental implants by going to a dentist with plenty of experience in your local area. It's a complex procedure that requires extra training and skill at placing the post and identifying situations where bone or gum issues could lead to rejection. If your dentist recommends grafts, they're likely necessary for the implants to succeed in the long run. Make sure you know what kind of background your dentist has in dental implants before choosing them for your procedure.

No matter your age, there's an option for restoring your smile that will work for you. Schedule an appointment with Austin K. Brown, DDS to find out how our caring dental team can help. Even underlying health conditions and past dental issues may not prevent you from getting the restorations you want because we have many treatment options for lingering conditions like gum disease. Take charge of your oral health today with our help.

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