Dental Implants for Seniors
Dental implants are attached through a surgical procedure performed by a dentist. They surgically place tiny titanium posts to the jawbone. Once these posts have fused with the bone, an abutment or extension is attached and then an artificial crown is positioned on the abutment. A local anesthetic is used during the procedure and over-the-counter pain relievers can be taken to help with the dental implant recovery.
Around 50 million Americans experience tooth-loss every year. Dental bridges have traditionally been the best option. However, there have been continue technological advancements regarding different types of dental implants. Dental implants are becoming both a common and popular procedure for seniors to restore a missing tooth or teeth. Almost 500,000 dental implants are currently being placed every year.
The Top Advantages of Dental Implants for Seniors
Here are a few advantages that are important to seniors regarding dental implants.
- Better Eating- With the full restoration of biting and chewing capabilities, seniors can eat foods that once caused pain and irritation. With their full bite restored, they can again eat fruits and vegetables they once enjoyed. This leads to an overall improvement in health and energy levels. Proper chewing also aids the digestive process which is another great health benefit.
- Looking Better- You will feel much better when you have a healthy smile. Dental implants give seniors the chance to smile again without being embarrassed by missing teeth. Looking good is also feeling good and that has many benefits as well.
- Feeling Better- When you are more confident in your appearance, you feel better about yourself. When you can chew properly and enjoy the foods you love, you feel healthier. Feeling better improves your overall quality of life.
- Saving Money- Dentures can break and require constant maintenance. Implants are a one-time investment and a permanent dental solution. This will have cost benefits over the long-term.
- Easier to Care for Than Dentures- Dentures can slip eating or speaking, become easily stained, and must be removed for cleaning. Dental implants are in place permanently and are cared for just as natural teeth are. They also cause less discomfort than dentures.
Keeping Your Dental Implant Healthy as a Senior
One of the main factors when it comes to the longevity of your dental implant is how you care for it. A dental implant should be cared for just like a natural tooth and should be properly brushed and flossed accordingly. This will also help to ensure the health of your gums, and the surrounding natural teeth. Make sure you continue to brush, floss, and rinse out your mouth at least twice a day to ensure proper overall oral health.
It is important to understand that, while dental implants are strong, a healing process is still required after implants are first installed. For the first few weeks you should have a diet consisting of softer food, with a slow introduction to harder foods. Your jawbone needs to acclimate to the new force that is being applied to it.
Finally, always schedule regular dental exams. Unchecked dental issues can result in additional problems and the progression of decay, which is why it is so important to visit your dentist every six months. In addition to providing a deep clean for your teeth and diagnosing potential issues before they progress, these preventative checkups also will allow us to monitor the status of your dental implant.