If you’re one of the many people in middle life who are starting to think that dental implants may be the solution to your long-term dental needs, this article is for you.
Many of my implant patients are seniors, and I’m often asked whether their care poses special challenges. It does, and I have devoted a great deal of my continuing education to studying and overcoming them. Two of the key factors for implant success – plenty of bone and healthy gums – are significant factors in aging patients.
It can’t be said too often – our teeth have only evolved to last until we’ve reared our children. For several generations we’ve been living far longer than that, and for most of that time we have tended to accept the loss of our natural teeth, and their replacement with dentures, as an unavoidable price of longevity. And we’ve unfortunately retained a rather casual attitude to the loss of our teeth, or rather to the oral care that could preserve them.
This means that patients who come to me with lost or failing teeth in their middle age are almost certain also to have suffered significant bone loss, and quite likely to have at least mild gum disease. Often a troubled tooth is doing its own little bit to accelerate the bone loss and inflame the surrounding gum, and should come out asap and be replaced by implants. Others may, with diligent oral care, be preserved for a while, or at least until the patient is ready to undertake implant treatment. In either case, though, healthy gums are absolutely vital, so treating any gum disease is a wise, no-regrets step for anyone in their middle years to take.
A pre-treatment consultation and oral examination enables me to advise you on all the options available to you. But it’s also an opportunity to start rehabilitating those gums – and that can’t start too soon! You can request an appointment here.
I’ll be writing more on the subject of the over-50s and their teeth – so watch this space!