Dental implants are one of the most popular and long-lasting ways to replace missing teeth, but not everyone is eligible for the procedure. Health, bone density, and chronic medical conditions can disqualify a patient from getting implants. However, age is one of the first questions most people ask our implant dentists in Surrey when they first consider this option, so we’re going to unpack the issue for you.
Dental Implants in Young People
In most instances, 18 years old is the earliest you can get dental implants. The reason for this is that until this age, your bone structure is still maturing, and growth and changes could occur. Since dental implants are intended to last for a lifetime, fitting them before a patient reaches maturity can result in the need to remove and replace them later.
This depends on several factors, including the location in the mouth and the patient’s overall health. A 17-year-old male patient or a 14-year-old female might qualify for implants in some circumstances, especially if they only need a single tooth replaced. Occasionally, patients only reach skeletal maturity in their 20s, so each case must be evaluated individually through jawbone x-rays.
Dental Implants in Seniors
Technically, you’re never too old to get dental implants and put forward your best smile. Patients in their 70s, 80s and even 90s have had excellent results from implants. Seniors are more likely to have missing teeth later in their lives, so dental implants or implant-supported bridges and dentures are often the best solutions for them.
However, elderly patients sometimes have other issues that make dental implants at their age an unsuitable proposition. Some of these are:
- Serious health issues that make surgical procedures dangerous for the patient
- Significant gum recession or major loss of bone density, resulting in the need for extensive bone or gum grafting
- High risk of complications during or after anesthesia.
Implants carry several benefits for seniors, too. A joint report from the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Biotechnology Information indicates a connection between missing, damaged, and infected teeth and patients’ general quality of life.
A person with one or more missing teeth is more likely to follow a diet low in heart-healthy fibrous foods. This results in a higher risk of getting chronic diseases as they age. Replacing the missing teeth with dental implants allows you to enjoy a healthy diet and feel confident flashing a perfect cosmetic smile in social situations. These factors contribute to improved health and well-being as you age and help to combat dementia.
Ideal Dental Implants Age
So, what’s the best time to get dental implants? The health of the patient is more important in determining eligibility than age. Statistics from the American Academy of Implant Dentistry show the median age of implant wearers is 52. However, this average age is dropping every year, based on the increasing popularity of the procedure and its value in replacing teeth lost in car accidents, sports injuries, and gum disease.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our qualified and experienced implant dentists in Surrey BC. We look forward to talking with you about your implant requirements.