As we age, our dental health may often become an overlooked priority. However, if you have an elderly loved one, it is vital to remain aware of their dental needs and the potential treatment options. One such option that could be suitable for your elderly family member is a dental implant.
In this blog, we will explain a dental implant and the benefits of having one installed and tips in taking care of dental implants.
What Exactly Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are prosthetic replacements for teeth lost due to injury, decay, or disease. Unlike traditional dentures and bridges, they are surgically embedded into the jawbone and act as a foundation for artificial teeth.
They can replace any number of missing teeth, from a single tooth to an entire arch.
The process of placing them involves several steps.
First, the dentist must prepare the area where the implant will be set by removing any damaged tissue and ensuring that the patient's jawbone is healthy enough to support the implant.
Next, they will insert a titanium post into the jawbone, usually done under anesthesia, to minimize discomfort. The post will then be fitted with an abutment, or artificial tooth, holding the crown or bridge that covers the implant and creating the final restoration.
Are Dental Implants Safe for Seniors?
Some may question the safety of dental implants for the elderly. However, it is safe to continue with the treatment. Some seniors may ask whether they are too old for dental implants, but this is not true. People under 18 are not eligible for dental implants, but there is no upper age limit.
The materials used for dental implants have been thoroughly tested, so there is minimal risk of breaking or corrosion.
In addition, the implant placement can be customized to fit your unique mouth structure and reduce the risk of complications. However, there are some risks associated with dental implants, so seniors need to consider these before undergoing treatment.
What Are the Tips for Taking Care of Dental Implants?
1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene
The most important thing you can do for your dental implants is practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice daily and floss daily to ensure that food debris, plaque, and bacteria don't accumulate on or around the implant.
2. Visit Your Dentist
Seeing your dentist regularly is vital to maintain your dental implants in optimal condition. During these visits, your dentist will examine the implant and check for signs of wear or damage that may need attention.
3. Avoid Hard Foods
Hard foods can cause chips or fractures in your implant and should be avoided when possible. If you must consume hard foods, cut them into small, bite-sized pieces before eating them.
4. Try Not To Clench Or Grind
Clenching or grinding your teeth can put too much pressure on the implant's abutment, which can cause it to become dislodged. Make sure you practice relaxation techniques or visit your dentist if these habits continue.
Dental implants are an excellent option for seniors needing prosthetic teeth to replace those lost due to injury, decay, or disease. However, it is essential to remember that there are risks involved with having a dental implant, so it is crucial to consult your dentist before making a decision. Ultimately, seniors should be aware that the success of their dental implant depends on a strict post-operative care plan, which includes regular professional maintenance.
If you need a reliable dentist in Waterford, MI, Dental House MI is here for you! We offer a wide range of dental services and are committed to providing high-quality treatments for every patient. Schedule an appointment now!