Why Seniors Should Consider Dental Implants
It’s no surprise that aging brings a lot of challenges. From aches and pains to pressing health concerns, seniors have to deal with plenty of significant changes. And unfortunately, losing your teeth is often one of those new challenges.
Yet if you’re missing teeth, you don’t have to live without them. Dental implants are a permanent, realistic replacement that can restore seniors’ smiles.
What Are Dental Implants?
To put it simply, dental implants are replacement teeth.
Dental implants are permanent replacements for teeth that you’ve lost, had extracted, or are currently rotting. They’re rods that are implanted into your jaw, and a realistic-looking tooth (or cap) is attached on top. These caps can be matched to your remaining teeth so the replacements blend in and look natural.
Today, dental implants are the standard in modern dentistry for the prosthetic replacement of missing teeth. They’re sturdy and long-lasting, and they’re comfortable and just as natural as your very own teeth.
There are two main types of dental implants, which you can learn more about below.
Endosteal implants are implants that are placed or inserted directly into the jaw bone just below the gum line. Typically made of titanium and shaped like screws, they are the most common type of implant used in dentistry today.
However, endosteal implants require sufficient jaw bone material to accept the implant. When that isn’t the case, a bone graft is needed.
Unlike endosteal implants, which are inserted directly into the jaw bone, subperiosteal implants consist of metal frames that are placed on top of the jaw bone under a layer of gum tissue. When the gums heal, posts attached to the metal frame are used to support one or more prosthetic teeth.
This type of implant is often used when there is insufficient jaw bone mass to accept an endosteal implant. However, subperiosteal implants are not as popular today as they were in the past.
The Benefits of Dental Implants for Seniors
When you reach your golden years, you have a lot of health choices to make. Fortunately, choosing dental implants for your missing teeth is an easy decision.
Unlike other tooth replacement options, such as dentures or bridges, dental implants offer plenty of benefits for seniors. They’re an excellent choice because they’ll last you for the rest of your lifetime – but that isn’t the only reason you should choose implants over everything else.
The following are five of the biggest benefits dental implants can offer seniors.
1. Dental Implants Improve Appearance and Self-Esteem
Teeth play a huge role in a person's appearance. When you’re missing a tooth, you likely are hesitant to smile because you’re afraid someone will notice your smile’s gap. Also, when teeth have been missing for a while, the jaw bone shrinks, and facial structure begins to deteriorate, which will make you look older.
However, a dental implant fills the missing space and looks completely natural. This leads seniors to feel better about themselves and have more self-esteem. You’ll be more confident and keep your facial structure in perfect shape.
2. They’re Long Lasting and Permanent
With care, most dental implants will last your entire lifetime. Once they’re in place, dental implants can be cared for just like regular teeth. And they never need to be removed, realigned, or adjusted.
The same cannot be said for dentures. Dentures often have to be adjusted or replaced from time to time because they no longer fit well. Even bridges are not permanent. They typically last only about five to 15 years.
3. Implants Offer Increased Comfort and Convenience
Dental implants eliminate the need to take dentures out and clean them. No adhesive is required to keep implants in place when eating. After a while, some dentures no longer fit well, causing them to slip and move around. Dentures can also irritate the gums, especially when they slip.
However, implants are permanently fixed and will not move around. They act like natural teeth. You can simply live your life, and your dental implants will stay perfectly in place without pain or discomfort.
4. Activities Like Speaking and Eating Become Easier
Dental implants work in exactly the same way as natural teeth when it comes to speaking and eating. This is far superior to dentures because dentures may move around and make it difficult for a person to speak clearly and eat certain foods.
This problem is magnified when seniors lose a significant number of teeth due to the jaw bone shrinkage previously described. However, dental implants allow you to speak and eat as efficiently as with a full set of natural teeth.
5. Dental Implants Protect Your Remaining Natural Teeth
When a bridge is used to fill a space previously occupied by a tooth, the adjacent teeth are typically ground down in order to accept the bridge. This process weakens those teeth, which can lead to additional dental problems later on.
With dental implants, though, it isn't necessary to grind down the adjacent teeth. You can keep your natural teeth in their normal shape. Dental implants also protect the remaining teeth by filling the vacant space between teeth, which prevents those teeth from shifting.
Learn More About Dental Implants for Yourself Today
Dental implants offer a safe and secure way to replace missing teeth. They can restore any senior’s smile, improve your self-esteem, and allow you to speak and eat naturally. And when they’re properly cared for, dental implants will last you a lifetime.
Seniors who have lost a tooth or multiple teeth: you owe it to yourself to consider dental implants. You should check with your dentist or oral surgeon to see if dental implants are an option for your needs.
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