Am I Too Old for Dental Implants?
Patients who are on the fence about dental implants often express concern that they may be too old to be ideal candidates for the treatment. Perhaps they’ve been wearing their dentures for too long or have never replaced a missing tooth that led to jawbone deterioration. The good news is that it is never too late to get dental implant surgery.
Thanks to advancements made in bone grafting, dental implant procedures are now a real possibility for many patients. Bone grafting is a procedure that transplants your bone from any other area of the body to rebuild the jawbone. Dentists may also use special grafting material to create new bone for the dental implant.
Age is almost never a restricting factor for dental implants, whether the person is 50 or 90 years old. Provided that you take good care of your dental implants, your recovery rate will be very similar to those found in younger patients. This means that no age is too old for dental implant surgery. With that said, there are a few prerequisites for dental implants.
Dentists will evaluate various factors such as overall health, oral health, bone density, medications, and history of reactions to anesthesia.
It is true that the recovery rate for elderly patients is slightly slower compared to younger patients. In other words, you may have to wait an additional one or two months for a full recovery. At Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS, our highly trained dentists Dr. Garcia will ensure that the process is as seamless and pain free as possible.
Another major factor is jawbone density. All patients must have sufficient jawbone mass to provide a solid foundation to the implants. Patients with a low bone density will have to undergo a bone grafting procedure. This may be decided on a case by case basis.
Experts agree that at least 1 mm of bone is needed around a dental implant. More space may be required if the implant is next to another implant.
Dental Implant Materials
Regardless of the patient’s age, most dental implants are made from titanium or zirconium. These materials exhibit ideal tensile strength, durability, and chemical resistance properties to be considered for surgery. The prosthetic components of the implants may be made from stainless steel, cobalt-chromium alloys, and gold alloys.
The overall dental implant cost depends on the materials used. In general, titanium implants cost anywhere from $300 to $600, while zirconia implants start at $500 and go up to $1,000. Despite its higher cost and lower success rate, some patients may consider zirconia because it does not contain any metal in its composition, unlike titanium.
What is the Success Rate of Dental Implant Surgery in Elderly Patients?
Patients in the age range of 70 and older have had an implant success rate of 99.98%. In other words, the patient's age does not seem to affect the success rate of implants.
For more information on dental implant placement and to see if you are a good candidate for the surgery, call us at (346) 250-2930.