I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
Dental implants consist of a metal nub fused to your bone and attached to a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge or fake tooth. Considered to be a convenient and permanent substitute for dentures, dental implants attract many people who are missing teeth. However, they are not the right choice for everyone – elder people, in particular, should carefully consider whether or not dental implants are right for them.
If you or a senior you know are thinking about dental implants, here are some of the issues, you should consider first:
1. Dental implants need to be attached to strong, healthy bone
In order for a dental implant to work, the oral surgeon needs an ample amount of bone to which he or she can attach the metal implant. The bone needs to be the right height and width to accommodate the implant. If it is not large enough, the implant may protrude into the sinus cavity.
In some cases, if there is not enough bone, the oral surgeon can remedy that by doing an extra surgery to add more bone to the area. If you are looking for a quick solution, this may not be the right option for you. However, even if you are willing to get into a lengthy process, keep in mind that this procedure involves extra time in the chair and extra time healing.
2. Dental implants are not ideal for people who do not heal quickly
Whether you need an extra surgery to build up bone or not, you need to consider your body's ability to heal before deciding on dental implants. Unfortunately, some people lose their ability to heal quickly as they age. If you have noticed that your ability to heal has been compromised as you have gotten older, talk with your physician and your oral surgeon – these professionals can help you understand whether or not you and your immune system can handle this type of procedure.
If you have a chronic illness such as diabetes, you may not be able to heal quickly after receiving implants. In other cases, the medications you take may affect your ability to be a good candidate for dental implants.
3. Certain medications complicate healing from dental implants
If you are taking bisphosphonate medications, which are popularly prescribed for osteoporosis and a few other conditions, you may not be able to heal quickly from implants. As a result, you may want to consider a less invasive option such as dentures.
4. Lifestyle factors also affect how successful implants are
In addition to considering your bone strength and size, your immune system and your medications, you need to think about your lifestyle. If you smoke, your gums and bones may not willingly accept implants, or as the smoking gives you increased risk for periodontitis and other issues, your dentist may recommend a different procedure. If you have a clean and healthy lifestyle that won't poorly affect implants, you only need to consider the reality of living with implants.
5. Implants require proper oral hygiene
Once you have implants, you need to take care of them. Typically, taking care of implants is just like caring for regular teeth, and in most cases, caring for implants is easier than caring for dentures as dentures need to be taken in and out and cleaned everyday. If you have memory lapses, it may be best to choose the option that requires the least amount of aftercare and the least amount of daily maintenance.
Now, that you have considered these five issues, contact your oral surgeon at a site like http://www.inserodentalimplants.com/. He or she can help you further assess whether or not dental implants are the right option for you.