Having a missing tooth creates many long-term problems that will cost you an arm and a leg to fix. That is why it is important to find the right fix as soon as the tooth gets knocked out or removed due to oral complications. Luckily, dentistry innovations have made it possible for people to replace their missing teeth using dental implants permanently. Most people ask themselves when considering getting dental implants is: Am I too old to get a dental implant? This article seeks to provide answers. For starters, dental implants are suitable for adults of any age, provided they have enough bone to support the implants.
However, your oral surgeon must check your overall health as well as the condition of your remaining teeth and gum when determining your suitability for dental implants. The main point here is the fact that age is not one of the determinants. Nevertheless, these implants have been found to present several complications in older patients than in younger people. Some of these complications include general health problems that tend to complicate the surgery.
For instance, if the patient has osteoporosis, which has a major impact on bones, it will be very difficult for them to get dental implants. This disease is very common in elderly people, especially women, who have reached menopause.
Osteoporosis causes the rate of bone resorption to exceed the bone formation rate hence causing bone loss. Even so, the ongoing medical advancements in dentistry have made it possible for patients with osteoporosis and other bone loss problems to get dental implants. For example, bisphosphonate therapy has been shown to improve the quality of bone and reduce bone resorption. Therefore, your doctor may advise you to undergo this therapy before getting dental implants if you have the disease. Studies have also shown a delayed bone healing process with increasing age. This delay results from low osteogenic stem cells, their differentiation potential and production, and reduced general blood flow. Also, older patients tend to take a long time to recover from dental implant surgery. An older patient may have to wait up to four months instead of the standard three months to recover fully from the surgery. The wound may even take longer to heal if you have diabetes. Furthermore, bones and minerals’ metabolism in patients with diabetes is often altered, thus complicating the integration process.