Once upon a time, the only option for replacing several missing teeth was a full or partial denture. Modern dentistry now provides dental implants – a permanent solution to missing teeth. However, you may wonder whether implants are viable for seniors and how they compare to dentures. Well, let’s dive in and take a closer look.
While you’d probably prefer to have your natural teeth, dental implants are remarkably similar. In fact, they’re the only form of restoration designed to mimic the shape and function of natural teeth, which means you can expect them to feel and fit better than a removable denture.
Many seniors find their dentures loosen or rub their gums as time goes on. However, with implant-supported options, there’s nothing to rub, slip or move out of place since they’re permanently embedded into the jaw bone. They stay right where you need them 24/7. Moreover, you can forget about taking them out at night or using copious amounts of dental adhesive to keep them in place.
The comfortable fit makes a significant difference for seniors deciding between dentures or implants. Usually, it’s challenging to retain a good fit for dentures due to the bone loss that naturally occurs with missing teeth. However, dental implants halt bone loss in the area they’re installed; since they’re non-removable, patients benefit from a comfortable and fixed bite that doesn’t need adjusting every couple of years.
Senior patients with missing teeth tend to find their facial features sag, leaving them with wrinkles and ‘hollow’ cheeks as their jaw shrinks due to bone loss. However, when implants are placed, they fuse with the bone in a natural process known as osseointegration, forming a new layer of bone. This fusion simultaneously holds the implant in place, strengthens the jawbone, and gives the face a more rounded, fuller appearance.
The advantages of dental implants are notable, but how do they compare to dentures? Let’s take a look.
Dental implants will boost your health, particularly if you’re a senior used to eating with dentures. Since implants restore practically all the biting force of natural teeth, there’s no need to limit your food choices to soft foods or cut food into tiny pieces to make it easier to chew and less painful on your gums. Elderly patients often suffer nutritional deficiencies due to a limited diet and missing teeth.
Fortunately, there is no upper age limit for dental implants. It’s more important to be in good health and to have sufficient bone to support the implants.
With All-on-Four dental implants, most patients find it easier to talk and eat because of the simple design. There’s no bulky denture in the mouth making you slur your words or impact chewing and swallowing. Instead, the slim shape mirrors the natural teeth and follows a patient’s natural bite.
Not only does dental implant treatment improve the appearance of your smile and face, but it also boosts confidence. Patients feel more comfortable in social situations and are happy to eat in public and pose for photographs, making dental implants a worthwhile investment.
If you’re tired of living with dentures and eating a limited diet, you can change that with dental implants. Once the implants are completely integrated and restored, the difference will astound you.
Dental implants can last the rest of your life whether you’re replacing a single missing tooth, multiple teeth or all of your teeth. Unlike dentures, tooth implants feel so natural that you’ll barely notice any difference when you’re around family and friends. Because implants are predictable, patients experience less discomfort and improve their quality of life.
No two implant surgeries are alike. While the implant procedure is relatively straightforward, some patients may require additional treatments, like a bone graft or sinus lift. Working with an experienced and skilled implant dentist like Dr. Akinwande will ensure a successful outcome. During a consultation, she will utilise CT scans to evaluate your anatomy and assess your suitability for dental implants.
Typically, we adopt an All-on-4 implant approach for patients missing all their teeth in the lower, upper, or both arches. As you may have guessed by its name, four implants are sufficient to support the weight of a complete set of lower or upper teeth.
Rather than a dental ‘plate’ resting across the roof of the mouth, the All-on-4 is a U-shaped hybrid denture/bridge design that sits on top of the implants, a little like a dental bridge but with a more extensive base. It replaces all missing teeth and mimics the gum tissue around them for a natural-looking smile.
Contact Chesterfield Dentistry at 314-936-3621 or book online to see if you qualify for dental implants. Get in touch today.