No matter how you lost your tooth – to severe decay, to advanced gum disease, or to an accidental injury – replacing that lost tooth is never too far from your mind. You may have considered the possibility of dental implants, an innovative tooth replacement option that closely simulates the structure, stability, and function of a natural tooth. However, due to certain individual considerations, not every patient makes a good candidate for the dental implants procedure. Dr. Thanasi Loukas, an experienced implant dentist serving the Park Ridge area, discusses how age plays a role in determining whether dental implants are the right option for you.
Is there an Ideal Age Range for Dental Implants?
As dental technology and materials have advanced over the years, the range of patients who qualify for dental implants has also broadened. For instance, ten or fifteen years ago, a patient over the age of 85 may not have been approved for the procedure due to safety concerns about the surgical phase of the procedure. Nowadays a patient of 85 or even 95 can receive dental implants as long as they are in good overall health.
However, it’s important to note that while the high end of the age cap has expanded over the years, dental implants are still not an appropriate solution for patients under the age of 18. Because implants are surgically inserted into the jaw to simulate a natural tooth’s root structure, they can interrupt the normal development of a young jaw. If a person loses a permanent tooth before reaching adulthood, they will be advised to wait until their jaw has fully developed before proceeding with dental implant surgery.
Health vs. Age: Which is More Important?
Ultimately, the health of the patient far outweighs age when determining whether or not dental implant placement is appropriate. For instance, an 85-year-old with no serious chronic illnesses who takes good care of herself or himself and doesn’t smoke will qualify for implants much more readily than the 45-year-old diabetic who smokes and drinks alcohol regularly.