Thanks to the miracles of modern medicine, it's not out of the ordinary for people to live well into old age, sometimes reaching their 80s, 90s, or even beyond. Tooth loss is a common issue among this long-lived group, so it's no surprise that many are interested in dental implants. However, many elderly adults who are currently grappling with tooth loss often wonder if old age can get in the way of getting dental implants.
Old Age Isn't a Factor for Dental Implants
A common myth surrounding dental implants is that they won't work as well for older patients as they do for their much younger counterparts. Many people tend to believe this myth because of osteoporosis and its effects on older adults. However, having this condition doesn't impact an older person's ability to receive dental implants.
Simply put, there's no such thing as being too old to receive dental implants. Even if you're in your 80s or 90s, you'll be able to enjoy the renewed beauty and restored function that dental implants offer. If you have suffered bone loss, your dental surgeon will take steps to rebuild the bone structure needed for your new dental implants to work effectively.
How Dental Implants Fare Against Conventional Dentures
In most cases, getting dental implants is often a better deal from the patient's perspective than dealing with conventional dentures. For many older people, conventional dentures fit poorly and come loose on a regular basis, preventing the wearers from eating or talking properly. This can have a serious impact on the wearer's ability to socialize and enjoy activities with confidence. Wearing conventional dentures can also cause irreversible damage to the gums and accelerate bone loss.
Unlike conventional dentures, dental implants are fixed in place, allowing the wearer to comfortably enjoy their daily routine without the damage or embarrassment that ordinary dentures could cause.
What About the Recovery Process?
Another concern that many older patients have is how long it'll take to recover from a dental implant procedure and how much pain they may experience during that process. The good news is that the amount of time it takes for healthy older patients to heal is roughly comparable to that of younger patients. In most cases, the healing process may last for several months.
Older patients may experience some slight discomfort, including minor bleeding and swelling of the gums and face, for a few days after the procedure. These issues can be managed with over-the-counter (OTC) medicines such as ibuprofen.