Dental implants can seem like something of a miracle if you’ve lost a tooth or several teeth, especially if they’re clearly visible. These replacement teeth look just like real teeth and are generally screwed into the jaw. You take care of them just like real teeth and your dentist can make them blend in seamlessly with the other teeth in your mouth. Maybe you’ve considered dental implants due to injury, a disease, or just old age—but what age is too old for dental implants?
And the Answer Is…
Turns out, no age is too old for dental implants! If you’re in good health and have the proper bone needed in your jaw to support the implant, you’re good to go. This means having a fully formed jaw, so young patients may be at a disadvantage rather than older ones. Ideal patients for dental implants have healthy gums that are free of disease, as well as patients who will take care of their teeth by adequately brushing and flossing. Also, you’ll need to be in good general health to be considered a good candidate for dental implants.
Are You Healthy?
Other factors to consider in addition to your age when getting dental implants are your general health and your mouth health. For example, people who smoke or have an illness such as cancer where radiation is being done to the head and neck area may not be ideal candidates for dental implants and your dentist may suggest an alternative route. Diabetes that is going untreated is also a risk factor for your body rejecting dental implants, as your gums may not be healthy. Being healthy and of the appropriate age make dental implants a good choice for some patients.
Old age is actually not a problem when it comes to dental implants, as many patients get implants well into their 90s and still do great! The young, however, not so much. Your jaw needs to be fully developed in order to successfully integrate dental implants into your mouth. As men and women mature differently, the age tends to be younger for girls to get dental implants than boys. Anywhere around age 18 is a safe bet for dental implants to be considered, but keep in mind these other factors too. The question may not be are you too old, but are you too young?
If your mouth isn’t healthy or you have another condition that affects your body, your mouth is more likely to have issues with the dental implants such as rejection or infection. While the implants are generally made with titanium that is safe and tends not to be rejected by the body, you’ll still need to keep these other factors in mind when discussing the option of dental implants with your doctor. But remember—you’re never too old for dental implants!