Dental Implants for Seniors
As our bodies age, we continually have to work hard to maintain our health. While a healthy, balanced diet and exercise are important, good oral health is also critical in staying healthy. For most patients, good oral health is maintained through good oral hygiene practices, regular dental exams and professional cleanings.
Even with efforts to maintain good oral health, it is possible to lose a few teeth as we age. Fortunately, dentures are no longer the only solution available for seniors who want to replace missing teeth.
Dental Implants for Seniors
The surgery for placing dental implants is a relatively seamless way for patients to replace missing teeth and restore function. Implants can also improve a patient’s smile, appearance and general quality of life.
Dental implants are attached by a device which is placed through a surgical procedure which is performed by a dental professional. During the first step of the process, the dentist will attach a small metal rod or post to the jawbone. Once the post is able to fuse to the bone, a connector device is then attached and an artificial crown is placed on top. In most cases, a local or general anesthesia is used during the surgery and over-the-counter pain medications is used following the procedure to manage any pain.
Work with your dentist to determine how long the process will take start to finish and how many appointments will be required. In some cases, the implants can be installed in the same day, however, this often requires the dentist to have additional specialized training. In other cases, it can take a few months to complete the procedure and require multiple visits to the dentist.
Below are some of the top benefits of using dental implants for seniors.
With a restoration from dental implants, biting and chewing function is improved. Patients can continue eating foods that were previously off limits or not safe with dentures. Once the teeth are restored, patients can resume eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Patients often experience health benefits from the newly restored ability to eat a healthy, balanced diet. In addition, proper chewing also contributes to a healthy digestive process.
Patients also report having an increased satisfaction with their smile and overall appearance. Dental implants provide seniors with the ability to confidently smile again and not worry about hiding their lost teeth.
Boost in Confidence
In general, when we have a higher level of confident with our appearance, we feel better about life. When the function of our teeth is restored and we can properly chew and speak, we gain confidence in daily living.
Over time, dentures can be damaged, break and require ongoing maintenance. While dental implants are a significant investment up front, they are permanent and can last a lifetime.
Caring for Implants
Dentures can be challenging to care for as they can slip, easily stain, and need to be removed for cleaning. Dental implants, in comparison, are permanently secured in place and can be cared for with traditional oral hygiene with daily brushing and flossing. Implants are also very comfortable compared to dentures and rarely cause any discomfort.
Patients who are missing one or more teeth should contact their dentist to help determine if they may be a good candidate for dental implants.