Dental implants are a revolutionary treatment in restorative dentistry, providing a permanent, natural looking and feeling solution to those with missing teeth.
Dental implants are suitable for many people who suffer from tooth loss. However, there are certain factors that must be considered when determining candidacy. One issue that often gets overlooked is a person's age.
Dr. Bruce Wilderman answers patient questions about dental implants and age restrictions during consultations at our Philadelphia, PA practice. If you would like to find out if dental implants are right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.
Are There Age Restrictions for Dental Implant Treatment?
There are age restrictions on dental implant treatment; for the most part, they apply to younger patients.
Just like adults, children can suffer from tooth loss. In some cases, children have a missing tooth due to genetics. In other cases, tooth loss can be caused by decay or an injury.
Why Are Children Unable to Get Dental Implants?
The reason children cannot undergo dental implant treatment is because the jaw is not yet fully developed. Typically, a child's jaw will continue to grow and develop into the teenage years.
The age at which the jaw bone fully matures varies, with some children having a fully developed jaw by the age of 14, while others may continue to develop until about the age of 18.
With that said, children develop differently and it is possible that some children may be ready for a dental implant in their teen years. An oral examination and X-rays to check bone development will be necessary to assess if a teen's jaw is developed sufficiently before dental implant treatment can be considered.
Older Patients Can Benefit from Dental Implants
There really isn't an upper age limit for dental implant treatment. Dental implants can and have been successful in patients over the age of 80.
While there is no set age restriction for adults, patients must be in good general health before being considered a candidate for dental implant surgery.
Adults who are healthy enough for surgery and suffer from one or more missing teeth can benefit from having dental implants placed. Through dental implant treatment, it is possible to restore dental function even for those who wear a full set of dentures.
Bone Quality Is More Important than Age
For adults interested in dental implant treatment, age is less of a deciding factor than bone quality. The jawbone must be sufficient enough to support dental implants. Unfortunately, with prolonged tooth loss and age, bone density can decrease, leaving little bone to support dental implants.
Before undergoing dental implant treatment, jaw bone quality is checked using an X-ray. If insufficient, a bone graft may be performed to restore the jaw bone. Once healed, dental implant treatment may be performed.
One of the benefits of dental implant surgery, in addition to restoring dental function, is that it helps preserve jaw bone density and prevent a loss of bone tissue.
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants may be right for you. To find out if you're a candidate, we welcome you to schedule a consultation by calling our friendly team at (215) 340-1199.