Dental Implants and Age
Dental implants are a lasting solution for patients who have experienced the loss of permanent teeth. Dental implants are small titanium screws that are surgically placed in the jawbone, where they fuse with the patient’s natural tissues. Once dental implants are secure, they act as anchors for a wide range of dental restorations, including dental crowns, dental bridges, and dentures.
Dental implants are the most stable and long-lasting treatment for missing teeth. Unfortunately, due to various reasons, not all patients are ideal candidates for this procedure. Here, we discuss how age may affect dental implant candidacy for our Boston, MA, patients at Dental Associates of New England.
Are Dental Implants Appropriate for Children or Teens?
The most important factors that need to be considered when determining if a patient is an ideal candidate for dental implants include oral health and the quality of the bone at the implant site.
Dental implant treatment will only be a success if the implants fuse with the jawbone tissues. This process, which is called osseointegration, can only take place if the jaw is fully mature, and there is ample bone density to support the dental implants. Although everyone grows and matures at their own rate, most people do not have a fully developed jaw before the age of 17 or 18.
If a patient is younger in age and interested in dental implant treatment, our dentists need to evaluate the maturity of the jawbone. As long as the jawbone is fully developed and able to support the dental implants, patients should be cleared for treatment.
Are Dental Implants Appropriate for the Elderly?
While some patients wonder if they are old enough for dental implant treatment, many others wonder if they are too old for the treatment process. Again, age itself is not a determining factor for dental implant candidacy. Instead, our dentists in Boston consider whether the patient is healthy enough for oral surgery, and whether the jawbone is dense enough to support dental implants.
Unfortunately, bone degeneration is more common in the elderly, so in that way age may affect dental implant candidacy. However, many patients who have experienced bone degeneration are candidates for a bone graft. A bone graft can rebuild the jaw so that it is strong enough to support dental implants.
Since the risk of tooth loss increases as a person ages, it is actually quite common for elderly patients to undergo dental implant treatment. As long as the bone at the surgical site is strong and the patient does not suffer from any medical conditions that could increase the risk of surgical complications, dental implant treatment can be successful for patients well into their 80s. During your appointment, we will discuss your medical history and examine your mouth to determine if you are a good candidate for treatment.
If you are interested in learning more about dental implant treatment, we invite you to contact our experienced team at Dental Associates of New England at your earliest convenience. You can also reach our Boston practice by calling (857) 350-3400.