Am I too old for dental implants?

 This is a frequently asked question by patients during the consultation process.  I have had this question asked of me by people ranging in age from 40 to 90.  It may seem like a perfectly good question but it is one I find difficult to answer...let me give you an example.

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      About 18 months ago I was approached by a 91 year-old patient and his daughter asking for dental implants.  He had suffered with ill-fitting dentures for the prior 30 years.  New dentures had been made in an attempt to provide better function but the loss of bone made attempts at eating solid food impossible.  Medically, he was a suitable candidate for dental implants...the decision was in their hands.

   The implants were successfully placed and his lower denture was stabilized to his satisfaction...in fact, during the first week of using his implant supported denture he had three steak dinners (THREE!!!).  He told me it was the first time in 30 years he had enjoyed a steak and he was trying to make up for lost time.

    Two weeks ago his daughter called to tell me her father had died.  She wanted me to know that the past year had provided him with a great deal of happiness as he was able to eat normal food again without discomfort...the implants were well worth the effort! 

    You are never too old for dental implants...too young?  Yes, dental implants are not advised until growth is completed.  Generally, in girls this is age 15-16 while in boys growth may not be complete until age 18.

Bruce Twaddle, DDS, DICOI | Plaza Dental Implants