You or a loved one are now faced with an option to replace your missing tooth and you are looking into dental implants as a solution. Great news because tooth implants are natural looking, long lasting and durable and let you function as you did before with eating, your bite, and overall jaw health.
Before considering the three main factors to determine if you are a strong implant candidate you should consider your age and there is good news and bad news. Good news first.
Am I Too Old for Dental Implants?
Some people think that you can be too old for dental implants in Mississauga. Not true! Even if you are 90 or more years old, you can still get them and you deserve to be able to eat what you want in dignity. Teeth replacement options are extremely safe even if you have matured well into your later years.
As we age and if there has been a missing tooth and a gap in your smile for many years, jaw bone density would need to be examined. For implants to fuse to your jaw, they need a certain amount of healthy jaw bone and your dentist can determine where you stand. The overall length of time for dental implants from start to finish should be considered as well. https://www.peeldentist.com/posts/how-long-does-the-dental-implant-process-take/
The good news is that even if you are lacking in jaw bone density, the dental team can do a bone graft to support the jaw.
And now the bad news. Sort of.
Am I Too Young For Dental Implants?
The question if you are too young to get dental implants is best answered with the question “Have you stopped growing?” For most people, they stop growing between 18-20, and so their jawbone has also stopped. Then the implant can be place confidently.
But every patient is unique! There are some that don’t reach skeletal maturity until into their 20’s so the dentist would do an exam and take some x-rays first. Bone development must be complete in order to place an implant where you have a missing tooth.
After age, your top 3 considerations for dental implants are the following:
- A strong immune system
Your overall health should be in relatively good condition. You don’t have to be in Olympic athlete level of health, but you cannot be immunocompromised. Types of therapy, medication, or how soon after you have had a medical procedure are all factors as well that the dentist takes into consideration.
- Your gum health?
Your gums should be free of disease and obstructions. The dentist and hygienist would usually want to clear up any gum disease like gingivitis or periodontitis or tooth decay first before replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant.
- Your desire to get implants
Not everyone is ready to get teeth implants just from a personal point of view. They are with you for decades, sometimes life so it’s a big decision. Some people are also nervous about the potential surgery. That is no problem and usually only takes a short time in one appointment, then you play the waiting game for a few months in order to let it fuse to your jaw then the natural looking tooth crown is placed. Once you feel comfortable enough with the tooth replacement treatment and implant, it’s a quick consultation and appointment to be made.
What is the truth about dental implants?
If placed too early, dental implants can be impacted by teeth drifting in your mouth, that is why we wait until you are a certain age. Where implants are placed determines what happens to drifting teeth as well because implants are anchored and don’t drift like your natural teeth.
Posterior natural teeth will usually drift horizontally towards the front of your mouth. That means, there could be a bit of a space next to your dental crown (the crown is placed on the implant to look natural).
Anterior (towards the front of your mouth) teeth and bone usually drift down and away from your nose. That means that it will appear as though the implant is getting shorter. And because it’s towards the front, patients might notice that.
This drifting rate of natural teeth slows down much more after the age of 30. After 30, it might drift by 0.27% each year, which is not noticeable. In some people it’s less than that and completely negligible.
When is the proper age for a dental implant? Given the above information, you would want to wait not just until skeletal maturity, but say, age 25 or 30 to avoid some of the drifting, however, this is something you can bring up with your dentist.
When should you not get dental implants?
- You shouldn’t get dental implants if:
- You don’t really want them
- You are under a minimum age, on average 18-20
- You don’t have the required jawbone density
- Your gums aren’t healthy and you don’t want to quit smoking
- You would rather have the cheapest solution like dentures.
Do implants lower life expectancy?
Absolutely not! In fact, they increase life expectancy. Not only do they improve oral health, but give you confidence and allow you to eat the foods you want. Better overall outlook, better eating, better gums and jawbone all contribute to increased life expectancy!