There is no doubt that dental implants are the superior treatment option for the replacement of missing teeth. However, not all patients are good candidates for dental implants. One consideration that patients and dentists should keep in mind in regards to dental implant surgery is the age of the patient. At Texas Dental Center, Dr. Clark Damon and Dr. Kari Blankenship will take your age into account when determining if you are a good candidate for dental implants. To learn more about dental implants and age restrictions, read on, and then contact our Fort Worth, TX practice to schedule your personal consultation with our team.
Patients Under the Age of 20
There is a minimum age at which dental implants can be placed. Patients should wait to have dental implant surgery until the jaw is full developed. There is no exact age at which the jaw will stop developing. In some patients, the jaw may be fully grown by the age of 17. For others, jaw development may not be complete until the age of 19. Generally, the jaw is completely developed by the age of 20.
For this reason, any patient under the age of 20 may not be considered a good candidate for dental implants. If you are interested in having dental implants placed to replace a tooth that never came in, or a tooth that was lost in a sports accident or another type of injury while you are in your childhood or teenaged years, our dentists will determine your candidacy on a case-by-case basis. Keep in mind that you may need an alternative tooth replacement option, such as a transitional prosthesis, until we can confirm that your jaw is fully developed.
The majority of patients that are interested in dental implants are in their senior years. The risk of tooth loss increases as patients age due to dental problems such as tooth decay, root canal infection, and gum disease, which are more common in older patients. The good news is that there is no upper age limit for dental implants.
That said, there are other factors that can affect your dental implant candidacy in your senior years. First, patients must be in good enough health to be able to undergo a surgical procedure. Dental implants require the use of anesthesia, an incision in the gums, and placement of the implant within the jawbone. If patients can’t tolerate surgery or anesthesia, or they have uncontrolled medical conditions, they won’t be considered good candidates for dental implant surgery.
Second, patients must have sufficient jawbone density to support the dental implants. If patients have been missing teeth for several years, they may have experienced jawbone atrophy, a condition in which the jawbone deteriorates. If the jawbone lacks adequate volume, patients will require a bone grafting procedure to build up the jawbone, or they may wish to consider an alternative treatment option.
To find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants, contact Texas Dental Center today.