Challenges And Strategies For Successful Dental Implants In Old Age

Missing teeth isn't good at any age. Fortunately, old age isn't a barrier to dental implants. However, old age does bring with it challenges that younger persons who need dental implants may not face. Here are some of those challenges, and how to mitigate them to enjoy use of your implants for as long as possible:

Low Bone Density

Your bone density increases as you age, reaching its peak when you reach approximately 30 years. After that, you gradually start to lose some bone mass. This means beyond 30 years, the older you are, the less dense your bones are.

Bone density is one of the requirements for the successful integration of dental implants. Therefore, your dental implant may not be durable if your bone density is compromised. Your dentist will evaluate your bone density and determine if you need a pre-implant treatment, such as bone grafting, before getting the implant.

Delayed Healing

Another challenge is the relatively slow rate of healing in old age. This can be attributed to different issues, such as reduced number of osteogenic stem cells (they promote healing of bone defects), decreased blood flow, and even delayed inflammatory response. The inflammatory response defends your body against harmful substances and rids it of dead tissues.

All these mean you have to be extra careful with your post-operative care after getting a dental implant. This includes maintaining a high level of oral hygiene to avoid infections, taking the prescribed antibiotics, and returning to your normal diet as soon as possible.

Adaptation and Maintenance Issues

Finally, you should also note that more seniors are more likely to have problems adapting to and maintaining implants than younger patients. For example, Alzheimer's disease, which is common in old age, makes it difficult for patients to remember and follow post-operative care for their implants. Seniors may also lack access to dental offices, which they need for early intervention when problems arise with their implants.

As a senior citizen, you need to ensure that you can maintain your implant well before getting the surgery. If you need help accessing intervention treatment, make the appropriate arrangements in advance. It may be difficult to adapt to the implants, for example, by restricting your diet to soft foods in the period following the implant, but it is necessary.

Ultimately, however, you can benefit from dental implants regardless of your age. It is your health and dental status, and not your chronological age, which determines whether your implant treatment succeeds or not. Therefore, follow your dentist's advice, and you are likely to enjoy use of your implants for a long time. Check out dental websites to read more about how implants can help you.