I’ve worn upper and lower dentures for 20 years and have never been happy with them, so I have researched dental implants. I think that implant dentures would improve my self-esteem. My concerns are my age (70), that I have bone shrinkage, and that I have dental anxiety. I realize the process takes a lot of time and appointments. I hope to stay calm and endure it. Is it too late for implant dentures? Jordan from Plano
Thank you for your questions. We understand your concerns, and many of Dr. Thomas’s patients have shared the same anxieties.
Is It Too Late for Implant Dentures?
It is not too late for implant dentures if you are well enough for oral procedures and in generally good health. Even if you have a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, you can still get implant dentures if you keep your illness well-controlled before and after implant surgery. The International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants published a three-year study of dental implants in patients aged 35 to 50 and 60 to 80. The study concluded that implant-supported overdentures in the lower jaw are equally successful in younger and older patients.
Can You Get Implant Dentures with Bone Shrinkage?
You can still get implant dentures if you have experienced jawbone shrinkage. An implant dentist must take a 3-D CT scan to assess your bone quality and volume. Consider the factors below:
- Dental implants require enough jawbone volume to support your denture.
- Bone grafts take three to four months to heal before implant placement.
- It takes four months for your jawbone to fuse with the implants after surgery, but you will wear temporary dentures while they heal.
- After healing, your implant dentist will expose the implants, attach abutments (connectors) and allow further healing.
- Your dentist will take impressions of your mouth to order custom dentures.
What Are the Benefits of Implant Dentures?
Implant denture benefits include the following:
- Your denture will be stable, and you will not need adhesives to keep it in place.
- You can eat and speak easily without worrying about your denture slipping or falling out.
- Dental implants stimulate your jawbone and prevent further bone shrinkage and facial sagging.
We recommend scheduling a consultation with a dentist with post-graduate implantology training. The dentist will take a 3-D CT scan and explain your options for implants. You will have time to explain your anxiety and learn about sedation options that will relax you for each procedure.
Sugar Land, Texas, dentist Dr. Siny Thomas sponsors this post.