A lot of people think that it’s too late for dental implants if they’ve already been wearing dentures for many years. But what are the facts?
1. Time Doesn’t Matter
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been wearing dentures for ten months, ten years, or longer. You can still be a candidate for dental implants.
2. Delay Can Result in Dentures That You Can’t Wear
Without dental implants to stimulate your jawbone and prevent further shrinkage, over time as your jawbone continues to shrink, it won’t be possible to keep a denture in your mouth. Your dentures will progressively lift, slip around, and fall out. Dental implants can slow down the progression of bone shrinkage and improve your experience with dentures.
3. Bone Grafting Can Help
Although it’s not too late for dental implants, long-term denture wearers usually need bone grafting for several reasons:
- Jawbone progressively shrinks when all your teeth are missing.
- Dentures that rest on your gums accelerate bone shrinkage.
- Grafting builds up the bone and provides support for dental implants.
- The tissue for bone grafts can come from another part of your body or artificial bone.
4. Angled Dental Implants Might Be an Option
All-On-4 or All-On-6 implants are placed at angles to increase contact with your bone and decrease the chance of implants becoming displaced due to lack of bone density. The technique eliminates the need to build up the bone with grafting. Your provider will tell you if it is an option for you.
5. The Right Provider Can Help
A general dentist, an oral surgeon, or a periodontist (a specialist in gum health) can perform implant surgery. Carefully select a provider who has the following qualifications:
- Advanced training in implantology
- Advanced technology to provide 3-D images of your oral anatomy to ensure optimal placement of the dental implants.
- A history of dozens of successful cases of placing implants for patients with bone shrinkage
It’s not too late for dental implants. We suggest that you schedule consultations with at least two implant dentists. Each dentist should discuss your options and the results you can expect. He or she will answer your questions about this dental procedure.
Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek sponsors this post.