Am I Too Old For Dental Implants?
Age is not usually a factor when determining the potential for dental implants, at least not for those who are older. Age is typically only a factor when discussing children or teens. Before dental implants are placed, we need to be sure that the natural bone growth of the face has completed.
What If I Don’t Have Enough Bone For Dental Implants?
One factor for determination of good candidacy for dental implants is the quantity of the bone available. The height of the bone required to place a dental implant has a minimum dimension. In some cases, if this minimum dimension is not available, a bone graft can be performed to increase the bone level. When broken, damaged or hopeless teeth are extracted it is sometimes required to place a small amount of bone into the space where your tooth root was once located. This is called a “socket preservation” when done at the time of the extraction. Socket preservation is just a different term for a bone graft done at the time the tooth is removed.
Upper teeth can have the complication of not having enough bone to place an implant due to interference with the maxillary sinus, which is a space that exist behind our cheek bones. Sometimes this space dips down far enough to be problematic for putting in an implant. In these cases, you may still be eligible for an implant after having a procedure called a sinus lift. In a sinus lift procedure, added bone is used to increase the thickness of your bone and allow the implant to move forward.
What If My Gums Are Not In Top Shape?
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is one of the primary reasons for tooth loss. If you have issues with your gums they must be treated before moving forward with dental implants, and that condition will require that it is under good control and that you have increased maintenance for keeping the tissues healthy. This means that you will likely require more than the typical twice a year dental hygiene visits. This periodontal treatment will also add some time to the timeline for getting your dental implants.