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3 Things Seniors Might Misunderstand About Dental Implants

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Are you a senior who has worn dentures for a long time, and do you have you next reline visit coming up soon? If so, it might be a good idea to take the opportunity to ask about dental implants. If you are set on your ways and don't think implants are right for you, check out the below three myths that may be swaying your decision not to get them.

1. You're Age Lowers the Chances of Your Implants Being Successful

There are some risk factors associated with dental implants, but age as a standalone factor is not one of them. In fact, there is hardly any evidence to support the notion that a person should be denied a dental implant procedure based on their age.

If you're a smoker, if you have severe jaw bone degradation, or if you take certain medications or have certain medical conditions, then yes, you may have an increased risk of dental implant failure. If you're in good health, though, with a strong jaw bone and good oral hygiene, then there is no reason to believe that you are too old to undergo the procedure.

With proper care, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98 percent. Only your dentist can determine whether or not your habits or overall health lowers your odds of a successful implant.

2. You Need to Get An Implant for Every Single Tooth

If you haven't taken the time to read up on dental implants, you likely conjure an image of a dentist placing an anchor post in your gum for every single tooth position there is. If this were the case, the process of getting dental implants would, indeed, be lengthy and difficult. Fortunately, this isn't how every dental implant procedure is done. There are several different kinds of dental implants, and some can be anchored to your jawbone with as few as four posts placed in your gums.  

Four little incisions is a lot less scary to think about than 32 incisions. If the belief that getting dental implants takes a long time and is extremely invasive and painful is holding you back from talking to your dentist about them, forget what you thought you knew and ask away.

3. You Can Never Take Your Teeth Out Again After Implants

Perhaps you're hesitant to get dental implants because you've grown comfortable with taking your dentures out at night, and you're not sure you'd have an easy time transitioning to teeth that must remain in your mouth always and forever.

Luckily, there are dental implant options that allow you to still remove your teeth at night if that is your preference. Bar-anchored and ball-anchored dentures are very much like the dentures you have now, except the top ones don't kill the tastes of foods by covering your upper pallet, and the bottom ones don't accidentally pop out of place when your tongue hits them just so and breaks suction. 

You can opt for fixed bridges, which stay fastened to the implants and remain in place, or you could choose to still have removable dentures, but new and improved removable dentures that have the added benefit of being held in place by dental implants.

Dental implants aren't only for people who want an entirely new set of teeth; they can be used to more strongly anchor dentures much like the ones you're wearing in place. If you're a senior with an appointment to have a denture reline, take the opportunity soon to discuss with your dentist whether or not dental implants could help improve your smile.