Friday, July 1, 2011

Dental Implants For Senior Citizens

Do your dentures often come loose and float in your mouth? Has your speech pattern changed as a result of having to wear them daily? Are you tired of having to remove and clean your dentures regularly? If yes, then teeth implants may be the right option for you. Also known as dental implants, teeth implants consist of tiny titanium roots that are placed in the jawbone, to which prosthetic teeth are fixed.

There is a general misconception among people that patients above a certain age cannot receive teeth implants. In reality, there is no age limit for undergoing teeth implant treatments, but only a few health requirements to determine if a patient is suitable for this procedure. While some health issues that prevent dentists from advising dental implants are more commonly found in senior citizens, these issues could also occur in much younger people. The only way individuals can learn if dental implants are suitable for them, is to visit an experienced dental implantologist for a consultation.

Some common health requirements for the success of teeth implants are:
  • Bone quality: It is vital for the jawbone to have sufficient quantity and quality for the placement of dental implants. For elderly patients, it is not uncommon to have low bone mass, which can reduce their chances of being found suitable for this treatment. However, if the senior citizen is in general good health, their dentist may suggest bone grafts to help build jawbone density.
  • Medical history: Dental implantologists generally check medical history to determine if the treatment can be safely performed on the patient, and if there are chances of infection. Some medical conditions that could be an issue, like heart attacks or strokes, are more commonly found in the elderly. This could make it less likely for a senior citizen to be found eligible for dental implants.
  • Healing ability: Osseointegration is a process through which the bone grows closely around the teeth implants, fixing them firmly in the jaw. This process requires the bone to heal quickly, so unless a senior citizen has a problem like severe diabetes that reduces their healing ability, this will not be an issue.

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