Dental Implants and Age: Are There Restrictions?
Dental implants offer an excellent, long-lasting solution to repairing a smile that has been disrupted by tooth loss. It is the only restoration available that can replace both the root and crown of a tooth. Once inserted into your jawbone, dental implants are designed to integrate with surrounding tissues and support a custom-made restoration, such as a dental crown, dental bridge, or even a denture when complete tooth loss has occurred. The stability they provide is incomparable to other traditional restorations.
Although beneficial for most patients, there are a few restrictions, including the age and health of the patient. Our doctors at Astoria Dental Group in Queens, NY discuss dental implants and age restrictions to help you determine whether you or a loved one would be a good prospective patient.
Who Is Considered Too Young for Dental Implants?
People under the age of 18 are considered too young for dental implants. Throughout a young person’s life, the teeth and jawbone are developing. If dental implants are placed while the jaw is still developing, it could compromise dental implant treatment, as well an individual’s oral health.
Who Is Considered Too Old for Dental Implants?
Although there is an age restriction for young patients and dental implants, there is actually no upper age limit. Many older patients in their 70s, 80s, and 90s receive dental implants with successful outcomes. However, lack of bone support may place an older patient at risk of not qualifying for this tooth replacement procedure.
Dental implants require sufficient jawbone strength and density in order to be successful. While unaddressed tooth loss can cause bone degeneration in any patient, it can happen even faster for older patients. If bone loss has occurred, a doctor can perform a bone grafting procedure to help promote healthy bone regeneration and provide adequate support.
Another thing that might place an older patient at risk is poor oral health or serious physical conditions or medications that could result in infection and dental implant failure. Patients with chronic diseases, such as an autoimmune disorder or uncontrolled diabetes should not undergo dental implant surgery.
In addition, certain medications can interfere with bone development. These can include:
- Bisphosphonates (used for osteoporosis)
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Fluoroquinolones (group of antibiotics)
- Heartburn medications
Because many of the above medications are taken for age-related conditions, they can keep an older person from qualifying for dental implants. During the initial consultation, one of our doctors will perform a full oral examination, carefully reviewing your list of medications and any past or current conditions that could place you at risk. It’s important that during this examination you are upfront and honest about your health status and the medications you are taking so the doctor can make an educated decision about your candidacy.
If you are considering dental implants as a viable tooth replacement option, we invite you to meet with Dr. Clifford Degal or Dr. Carmen Every Degal at Astoria Dental Group to determine if you are a good candidate. Our doctors are passionate about providing patients with healthy and beautiful smiles. Contact our office online or call (718) 278-1123 to schedule your consultation.