As we age, the health of our teeth often deteriorates, leading to the loss of one or more natural teeth. This affects the appearance of our smile and restricts our ability to chew and speak properly. In the past, there were limited options available to replace missing teeth, but with advancements in dental technology, dental implants for seniors have become a viable solution.
But what exactly is a tooth implant? How does it work? And is a dental implant safe for senior citizens?
In this blog post, we will explore the dental implant treatment and shed light on the benefits and considerations for seniors like you who are seeking to replace missing teeth with this life-changing dental treatment.
Understanding Dental Implants: Exploring the Three Components and Their Placement
A dental implant is an artificial tooth placed in the jawbone to replace a missing tooth root. It consists of three parts: the implant, abutment, and crown, and the process of dental implant placement is usually completed over 3 – 8 months, depending on various factors.
The implant is a small, screw-shaped device made with titanium or other biocompatible materials. This part is embedded into the jawbone through dental implant surgery, serving as a secure and stable anchor for the replacement tooth.
It is inserted through a fine incision in the gum tissue and allowed to fuse with the bone in a process called osseointegration. This usually takes several months, during which time a temporary restoration may be provided to improve your appearance and your ability to eat.
When the implant post has fused with the jaw bone, the abutment is fixed to the top of it. This small connector piece protrudes above the gum line, providing a support structure for the dental crown.
The abutment is usually attached to the implant after a healing period.
The tooth crown is the visible part of the replacement tooth and is attached to the abutment once it is in place. It is usually made of high-quality ceramic or other materials that closely resemble the colour and texture of real teeth. This crown is custom-made to fit your mouth and bite, providing a comfortable and functional replacement for the missing tooth.
Recreate Your Smile: The Key Benefits of Dental Implants for Seniors
Dental implants are a cutting-edge solution for seniors seeking to recreate their smiles and restore their dental functionality. Unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants fully mimic the appearance and function of natural teeth.
The benefits of dental implants for seniors include:
Optimal Oral Health
Missing teeth create gaps in teeth that can be difficult to clean properly, leading to the accumulation of bacteria that can trigger tooth decay and gum disease.
Dental implants are an effective solution for enhancing dental health, as they serve to fill in gaps where natural teeth are missing, allowing for easy cleaning and proper removal of debris and bacteria.
Improved Chewing Function
A key benefit of dental implants is their ability to restore proper chewing ability. Missing teeth can impact your ability to chew food properly, leading to digestion problems and poor nutrition. Dental implants provide a stable and durable base for artificial teeth, allowing you to chew your food properly and easily.
Enhanced Speech Clarity
The tongue plays a crucial role in creating sounds and speech clarity. When teeth are missing, your tongue may shift its position in the mouth, resulting in slurred or mumbled speech. Dental implants offer a stable foundation for your replacement teeth, providing proper support for the tongue. With dental implants, your tongue can create precise speech sounds more accurately, leading to more efficient communication.
Dental implants are made from biocompatible materials such as titanium, which are highly resistant to damage or wear and tear.
With proper care and regular maintenance, dental implants can last for a long time, making them a cost-effective and worthwhile investment for seniors looking to restore their smiles and regain oral functionality.
Enhanced Stability and Function
Unlike dentures, which can slip or move around and require constant adjustment, dental implants are firmly anchored, allowing for improved stability and function.
Facial Structure Support
Dental implants provide a stable anchor for facial muscles and bones, preventing the sagging of facial structure that can occur with tooth loss and promoting overall facial symmetry and aesthetics.
Maintain Bone Density
Dental implants can prevent the loss of jawbone by providing the necessary stimulation to maintain bone density, as without teeth to stimulate it, the jawbone deteriorates, and the body resorbs the calcium and minerals stored in the bone for other bodily functions, leading to bone loss which can be detrimental to oral health.
Prevent Teeth Shifting
When a natural tooth is lost, your adjoining teeth can begin to shift out of place, causing problems with bite alignment and potentially leading to further tooth loss. However, dental implants provide support and stability for adjacent teeth, preventing them from shifting into the gap left by a missing tooth.
Implant Care: Tips and Tricks for Senior Smiles
To ensure dental implants provide long-lasting results, it is necessary for you to take care of them in a proper manner. The following are some of the ways for senior citizens to care for their dental implants:
Always brush and floss dental implants carefully
Brushing your dental implants twice daily using a soft-bristled brush and non-abrasive toothpaste is important. Flossing is equally important and should be done carefully around each implant to remove any food debris or plaque.
Use a good mouthwash
A good quality mouthwash can be used to keep your dental implants clean and healthy. It helps fight against bacteria, reduces plaque buildup, and keeps the breath fresh.
Avoid hard and chewy foods
Hard and chewy foods can damage your dental implants and may cause them to loosen or break. Therefore, it’s better to avoid such foods and stick to a softer and more nutritious diet.
Regular visits to the dentist
Seniors with dental implants should visit our clinic at least twice every year for regular checkups and cleaning. Our experienced dentist can spot issues before they become bigger problems and provide effective solutions accordingly.
Smoking can significantly impact the healing process after the implants are placed and may lead to infections, gum disease and implant failure. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that seniors with dental implants quit smoking.
Investing in Dental Implants: Value for Money
Dental implants cost can be on the higher side, but they’re often less expensive than traditional dentures over time. The price of tooth implants varies according to the number of teeth you have to replace and the location of the implant. However, many dental insurance providers and health funds now offer coverage for dental implants, so it’s important to check with your provider.
Exceptional Dental Implants for Seniors near Bella Vista
If you are a senior citizen residing in and around Bella Vista and are looking for a trustworthy and experienced dentist to help improve your smile, then Dr Jack is the perfect choice for you.
With vast experience, an understanding of the latest dental techniques, and his passion for restorative dentistry, Dr Jack ensures that his patients receive outstanding treatment. His focus on dental implants and regular training in the latest dental treatments and technology makes him the go-to dentist for dental implant treatment.
So, connect with Dr Jack today and transform your smile to make your golden years even more enjoyable. Book an appointment in one of our two conveniently located dental clinics today!
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
How to Care for Dental Implants | BIOLASE
Dental implant surgery – Mayo Clinic