Dental implants are a popular solution for people who have lost one or more teeth. However, many seniors wonder whether dental implants are a good option for them. The truth is that dental implants can be an excellent choice for seniors, but there are some things you should expect in the process.
Learn more about dental implants and their overall process for seniors to try.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are made from artificial teeth surgically implanted into the jawbone. Unlike removable dentures, dental implants are permanent and can function just like natural teeth. The implant comprises a titanium post implanted into the jawbone, a connector (abutment) that attaches to the post, and a crown that sits on top of the connector, mimicking the appearance of a natural tooth.
Things to Expect in the Dental Implant Process
If you are considering dental implants, there are several things you should expect in the process:
1. Consultation with a Dental Professional
The initial step is to schedule a consultation with a qualified dentist or oral surgeon. During the consultation, your dentist will check your mouth and take X-rays to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. They will also discuss the procedure, costs, and potential risks or complications.
2. Dental Implant Placement
Once you've been cleared for the procedure, the next step is to place the implant into the jawbone. This is done under local anesthesia; most patients report minimal pain. After the implant is fixed, a temporary crown is attached to protect it while it heals.
3. Healing Period
It takes several weeks to months for the implant to fuse with the jawbone, a process called osseointegration. During this time, you must take special care of your implant to ensure it heals correctly. Your dentist will give instructions on how to care for your implant, including brushing and flossing techniques.
4. Placement of the Abutment
Once the dental implant has merged with the jawbone, the abutment is placed on top of the implant. This creates a connection between the implant and the crown.
5. Placement of the Crown
The final step is to set the crown on top of the abutment. The crown is custom-made to fit the color and shape of your natural teeth.
While getting dental implants may seem lengthy, the result is a permanent solution to missing teeth that can considerably improve your overall quality of life.
After-Care Guide for Dental Implants for Seniors
After the procedure, it's crucial to maintain good oral hygiene to keep the longevity of the implants. Here is an after-care guide for dental implants for seniors:
- Brushing and Flossing: Brushing your teeth twice daily and floss once daily to eliminate plaque and food particles from your teeth and implants. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Mouthwash: A mouthwash is an excellent tool for killing bacteria and keeping your breath fresh. Choose an alcohol-free mouthwash that won't irritate your gums.
- Regular Dental Visits: It's essential to visit your dentist regularly to monitor the condition of your implants and oral health.
- Avoid Hard Foods: Avoid hard foods that can damage your implants, such as popcorn kernels, hard candy, and ice.
- Quit Smoking: Smoking can cause implant failure, so it's essential to maintain the longevity of your implants.
By following these after-care guidelines, seniors can enjoy dental implants' benefits for many years.
Dental implants are a superb option for seniors who are experiencing tooth loss. They provide a natural-looking and comfortable solution that can improve speech and eating ability. Although getting dental implants can be lengthy, the result is well worth it. If you are a senior considering dental implants, consult with affordable dentists in your area to determine if you are a perfect candidate and discuss the best dental treatment plan for your needs.
Dental House MI is a reputable dental practice providing exceptional dental services to Ann Arbor and Waterford, Michigan patients. Our experienced and affordable dentists for seniors are dedicated to improving their patient's oral health through a comprehensive range of services, including dental implants, orthodontics, root canal therapy, and more. If you need dental implants in Ann Arbor, MI, don't hesitate to contact us for a consultation.