Tooth loss has a greater impact on oral health than any other dental complication. Tooth loss compromises oral functions, threatens the health of adjacent teeth, and can even lead to the loss of healthy bone tissues.
Dental implants are the only missing teeth treatment to address all the complications linked to tooth loss. Dental implants replace a missing tooth in its entirety, including the tooth root. Dental implants are the only dental restoration for missing teeth that can prevent jaw bone deterioration.
However, not all patients are ideal candidates for dental implant treatment. Here, Dr. Thomas Tang addresses concerns regarding dental implants and age restrictions for our Brookfield, WI dental patients.
Are There Set Age Restrictions for Dental Implants?
Neither the FDA nor ADA (American Dental Association) has any set age restrictions for dental implant treatment. However, dentists should not perform dental implant treatment on a patient that is not a good candidate for the procedure.
If the risk of dental implant failure is high, the patient should consider an alternative restorative dentistry treatment. While there are many factors that affect a patient’s candidacy for dental implant treatment, age is definitely one of them.
Are Dental Implants Right for Children?
Children, or patients under the age of 18, are not good dental implant candidates. For dental implant treatment to be a success, the implants must fuse with the natural bone tissues within the jaw. The long-term success of dental implant treatment will depend on the jaw bone being fully developed at the time of implant placement.
Although each patient is unique, the jaw does not reach full maturity until a person is around 17 or 18 years of age. For this reason, dental implants are typically not a viable option for children. If a patient is nearing 17 years of age, Dr. Tang can take an x-ray to determine whether or not the jaw is fully developed.
Dental Implants for Seniors
Tooth loss is most likely to effect senior patients, and, fortunately, there is no upper age restriction for dental implant treatment. Dental implants have been successfully placed in patients in their 80s and older.
However, age can play a factor in determining implant candidacy. Implants can only fuse with the jaw bone if there are substantial tissues within the jaw. Bone degeneration is more common in older patients, especially if the patient has had missing teeth for a prolonged length of time.
If the jaw bone has weakened, patients can consider a bone graft to strengthen the jaw prior to implant treatment. This procedure is often a success and should make implant placement possible.
As long as elderly patients are in good overall health and free of complications that could increase the risk of oral surgery, they should be ideal candidates for a bone graft and dental implants.
Age is just one factor that could affect dental implant candidacy. If you have experienced tooth loss and would like to know if dental implant treatment is right for you, contact us to learn more. You can schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Thomas Tang by calling (262) 821-1000.