Red Sea Bulletin Jan/Feb 2014
Patients of all ages may consider dental implants, and some may wonder if they are too old for the natural-looking tooth replacement devices. After all, as people age, they face an increased risk for tooth loss, and the need for dental implants may be greater. Fortunately, you can never be too old to get dental implants. As long as you have not experienced extensive bone loss, you are eligible for this procedure. Dental implants require a certain amount of bone to fuse into the jaw. However, tooth loss is accompanied by bone loss, and bone loss jeopardizes dental implant success. This is where some older patients can run into a problem with dental implants. If their teeth have been missing for many years, jawbone erosion may compromise the implant’s healing process. Bone loss occurs more quickly in edentulous patients, so long-term denture wearers may have an even bigger problem. In these cases, though, an implant dentist can use a bone graft to supplement the bone available for the dental implant. A bone graft takes bone from elsewhere in the body, such as the hip or chin, and inserts it into the implant site. Gum disease can also have a negative effect on dental implants, so it’s important for all patients to maintain a good oral hygiene routine to protect the appliances. While there is no upper age limit for dental implants, the jawbone must be fully developed for dental implants to be successful in the long term. In a jawbone that is still evolving, the dental implant can eventually fail before growth is complete. For this reason, children and younger adolescents typically are not suitable candidates for dental implant placement. However, even those in this age group may receive dental implants as part of an overarching orthodontic treatment. Patients can benefit from dental implants well into their nineties, as long as they have good oral health otherwise.
To be continued…
Dr. Ayman Nassef Hurghada,
Sheraton Road, in front of Sea Gull Hotel, above Costa Coffee – 2nd floor
Mobile: 0122 322 69 13
Member of Alexandria Organization for Implantation