(03) 9857 3988     |     333 Doncaster Road, Balwyn North VIC 3104
16 March 2023

Too Young or Old for Dental Implants?

Dental implants are titanium posts surgically placed in your jawbone beneath your gums, where they serve as the roots of missing teeth. Once in place, they fuse to the bone to provide a solid foundation for a ceramic crown or bridge to be attached to the implant. These replacement teeth are made to match your natural teeth, so they’re very authentic and a great solution.

Here at the Dental Room, the entire dental implant process occurs at our clinic. The process starts with a consultation, where the suitability of implants is carefully assessed clinically and using 3D radiology. Once given the green light, the procedure takes place with precision using a keyhole technique to give our clients predictable long-term success. As with many health procedures, there are circumstances where dental implants are not advised. A key consideration here is the age of the client. So, are there any age restrictions when it comes to dental implants?

Read on for our guide to when to get dental implants.

Am I too young for dental implants?

The short answer is yes, you can be too young to have dental implants. The client’s age is often an important consideration when younger clients have lost or are likely to lose a tooth due to a sporting injury or an accident. Dental implants are only recommended when the jaw has stopped growing – and as the age of maturity varies from one individual to another, careful growth assessment will take place before a possible procedure. Typically, we defer implant placement until at least 18 years of age.

Why do we need to wait until the jaw stops growing?

Once a dental implant is placed, it cannot change position. Our natural teeth are supported by a connective tissue ligament, which helps them erupt as the jaw grows, enabling them to stay in contact. Dental implants are directly integrated with the bone and have no ligament support, hence the ‘not changing position’ situation we mentioned! If a dental implant is placed in an immature jaw that is still growing, it will stay put and never move, which could make the implant look shorter compared to the adjacent natural teeth that have shifted with growth.

If an implant treatment needs to be deferred, we often look at strategies to maintain the damaged tooth until bone growth is completed. Other tooth replacement options will be considered if keeping the tooth is not an option. These include a partial removable denture or minimal preparation bridges such as a Maryland bridge.

The best suggestion is to make an appointment with your dentist, who can help analyse your bone growth and the timeline for dental implants.

Am I too old for dental implants?

The great news is that you’re never too old for dental implants. There is no upper age limit to getting dental implants. Most implants we place are on mature-aged clients who have lost a single tooth or multiple teeth, or are struggling with dentures and looking for a comfortable solution. As the saying goes, as with fine wine, life improves with age – you can have it all!
It is essential to note that as one ages, other factors will come into play that require assessment and consideration, including the quality of the bone and any other medical conditions that might affect implant placement.

Denture wearers often struggle with discomfort, instability, and limited functionality. Dental implants provide a permanent solution for tooth loss, offering a stable base for replacement teeth that function like natural teeth. In addition, implant-supported dentures provide a secure and comfortable fit, improving chewing and speaking ability. People that struggle with dentures can benefit from dental implants as they offer a more stable, permanent, and comfortable solution for tooth loss.

Dental implants also assist in making our clients look more youthful as they maintain bone structure and restore facial aesthetics. At The Dental Room, there’s no greater feeling than giving the gift of youth!

What is the ideal time for tooth replacement with dental implants?

The ideal time to replace a tooth or multiple teeth with dental implants is typically 3-6 months after tooth loss. There are two reasons for this:

  • Available bone quantity starts to slowly regress after a six-month period which would result in less available bone for the implant to be placed in.
  • Migration of adjacent and opposing teeth: When you lose one or more teeth, the adjacent teeth will tip into the space, while the lower tooth will migrate up or down. This results in bite changes and food trapping issues – compromising the health and prognosis of these teeth.
  • What are the benefits of having dental implants fitted earlier in life?

    There are many benefits of having dental implants earlier in life:

  • They tend to last longer as the bone has not yet receded, so your jawbone won’t shrink when you get older and cause problems with your implant placement.
  • While you still need to care for your dental implants to prevent bacteria from building up in your mouth, you can’t get cavities in your dental implants.
  • Taking care of dental implants is easy – just brush and floss as usual.
  • You can speak easily and naturally – something that helps give confidence at all ages but is particularly important while growing up.
  • Dental implants match your natural teeth.
  • What about alternative tooth replacement options?

    When considering alternative tooth replacement options, an important note is that neither dentures nor bridges replace the root structure of the missing teeth. Therefore, when you chew, your bone isn’t optimally loaded with chewing forces. This means that the bone levels and density will lessen over time, resulting in facial changes. Dental implants will ensure the shape of your jaw and face stays the same.

    What do I do if I’m interested in dental implants?

    The best thing you can do to find out if dental implants are for you is to book an initial appointment at The Dental Room. By examining your teeth, the dentist can assess you based on your personal history and current health status. This will inform whether you are suitable for dental implants, and a treatment plan can be made as the next step.

    Dental implants are a very common procedure that Dr Shawn Rama and the team at The Dental Room regularly do – it’s second nature to them! This fact, combined with advanced innovation at the clinic, means that dental implants have become the gold standard for teeth replacement options at The Dental Room. We also have our in-house master ceramist Ms Chloe Park, which means the entire process of dental implants is looked after under one roof.

    Missing or damaged teeth can knock your confidence – whatever your age. And dental implants are the gold standard when it comes to dentistry. So – what are you waiting for? Book an appointment with The Dental Room today.

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