If you’re missing a tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants are an great option for fixing a bridge or denture. They offer a stability that is comparable to natural tooth roots, helping people smile with renewed confidence.
The team at our Jackson dental care center receive many questions about dental implants from prospective patients. The topic of age comes up a fair amount, so we want to go over some basics when it comes to age restrictions and implant dentistry.
Can a Person Be Too Young for Dental Implants?
Obviously dental implants are not suitable for babies or toddlers. They don’t have their permanent teeth yet; they may not even have all of their baby teeth in. Yet even as a child gets older, they won’t be good candidates for dental implants. This covers children in the K-6 age range as well as adolescents and teenagers.
The main issue is that before the age of 18, people are still growing. The bone structure of the jaw is still in the process of maturation, which means the bone structure is not fixed and may continue to grow. Dental implants are meant to last, so performing surgery too early in life is a recipe for treatment failure.
What’s the Earliest Age a Person Can Get Dental Implants?
The earliest a person can get dental implants is age 18, but even then we have to note that 18 may be too young.
Even at age 18, a patient may still be maturing, meaning the jaw may continue to grow and change. Rather than risk treatment failure, it’s best for patients who are missing teeth and are at least 18 years old meet with their dentist for a full assessment of their situation. A custom treatment plan can be developed based on the patient’s current situation.
Can a Person Be Too Old for Dental Implants?
Technically the answer is no.
Many people who are in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s have gotten dental implants and experienced excellent treatment results. Since people are more likely to be missing teeth later in life, dental implants are often an excellent and common solution for fixed bridges and dentures.
Age-Related Issues That Affect Candidacy for Dental Implants
Even though you can’t technically be too old for dental implants, there are a number of age-related health factors that rule out candidacy for dental implants.
An elderly patient may suffer from serious health problems that make surgical procedures a risk to overall wellness. In these cases, oral surgery to place an implant may not be in the patient’s best interests.
Additionally, a person who has been missing teeth for many years may have experienced significant bone loss or gum recession during this time. Without proper tissue density in place, a person is not a good candidate for dental implants. Given, bone grafting and gum grafting surgeries can be performed, but this can add several months to the overall treatment process, which elderly patients may prefer to circumvent through the use of a traditional bridge or denture.
Learn More About Implant Dentistry
If you would like more information about dental implants and how they can help you smile with a renewed sense of confidence, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at Harmony Dental Care is here to help you make smart dental wellness decisions.