Is there an age restriction when getting dental implants?

Some patients who are interested in dental implants are concerned that they are too old for this treatment option. If you’re one of them, here’s some good news.

Any adult, even older ones, may qualify for dental implants, as long as they are healthy enough to tolerate the surgery. There are no age restrictions for implants.

Although patients of any age can get dental implants, some people may not be immediately eligible. The most important consideration is the quality of the remaining bone that is available to support the implants.

In order for dental implant oral surgery to be successful, the patient must have adequate bone to facilitate osseointegration, the process in which the titanium implant fuses with the patient’s bone.

For patients who have suffered tooth loss, especially those who are edentulous, bone loss is an accompanying phenomenon. Without the tooth’s (or teeth’s) roots in place to serve as an anchor, the jaw gradually wears away over time. This can complicate the dental implant process.

Generally, though, an oral surgeon has ways around this, even for patients with extensive bone loss. A patient can get four dental implants to secure an entire prosthetic arch of teeth. Alternatively, if there is not enough bone to sustain the implant, the surgeon can perform a bone graft prior to placing the implant.

Although there is no upper age limit for dental implant placement, younger patients may not qualify. Children and teens with jaws that are still developing typically are not appropriate candidates for dental implants.

If an implant is placed before the patient is fully grown, the implant could become crooked or shift to an incorrect location in the jaw. For a small group of pediatric patients, dental implants may be used as part of an overarching orthodontic treatment plan, but generally implants are ruled out for this group.

Older patients need not worry that advanced age will keep them from getting dental implants, though. Contact our skilled and dedicated team at Dallas Oral Surgery Associates to learn about tooth replacement treatment options for your case.