Hey there! Dr. S here, the premier dental implant specialist in Bolingbrook.
If you are an older adult with one or more missing teeth, you might wonder if dental implants are right for you. After all, our teeth, gums and jawbones change over time, so seniors have much different oral health needs than do younger adults. You might wonder about the success rates of dental implants for seniors, for example, or worry that your implants will not work as well as they do for younger patients.
As the premier dentist in Bolingbrook, I want you to know that dental implants are just as effective and long-lasting for seniors as they are for everyone else. In fact, there is no such thing as being too old for dental implants!
Dental implants are a permanent solution to one or more missing teeth, even for older adults. Most dental implants last a lifetime, especially with good care. Unlike your natural teeth, your dental implant will never decay. It will, however, still need the same dental hygiene care, routine checkups, and professional cleanings as your natural teeth.
A dental implant is a metal post permanently embedded into your jawbone. The implanted post works like a tooth root to hold a natural-looking dental crown, which is the part of the tooth that is visible above your gum line. Many dental implants use an abutment, which is a component that connects the dental implant to the crown.
A dental implant may hold one tooth, support a bridge to replace several teeth, or even a snap-on denture or screw-in hybrid denture that replaces all of your teeth.
Dental implants are typically made from titanium, which is one of the hardest substances on earth. Titanium makes dental implants extremely strong and durable enough to last a lifetime. Titanium is also the most biocompatible metal, which means it will not harm body tissues and it resists corrosion from body fluids, such as saliva. Titanium also promotes osseointegration, a process in which bone fuses to the metal rod to create a sturdy anchor.
Getting dental implants requires several visits to us as your Bolingbrook dentist for dental implants. Your first visit will be the consultation, in which you describe your expectations and learn about the dental implant procedure. During this consultation, our dentist will perform an evaluation, take dental x-rays, and help you determine if dental implants are right for you.
If you are like many patients, you may need to have dental work done to improve the outcome of your implants. Your dentist may recommend a bone graft, for example, if your jawbone is too thin or soft to hold the dental implant. Our Bolingbrook dentist may suggest treating gum disease if you have an active gum infection or advanced gum disease. Taking these extra steps ensures that your dental implants last a lifetime while looking and functioning like your natural teeth. If you need any dental work to help improve the outcome of your dental implants, you will return for one or more appointments to have that work done.
You’ll receive the implant (or implants) on the next visit. Our dental team will administer local anesthesia to numb the treatment area. We will likely recommend some form of sedation dentistry, such as intravenous (IV) sedation through a needle in your arm or oral sedation in which you take a pill. Sedation dentistry helps you stay relaxed and comfortable throughout the procedure.
Next, our dentist will place the metal post into your jawbone, where the missing tooth should be. While this sounds drastic, most patients experience less discomfort than they expect, and many return to work or their other activities in a day or so.
Recovery from dental implant surgery is similar to any other dental surgery – you may experience discomfort, swelling, bruising, and/or minor bleeding. Most patients can control these symptoms with over-the-counter pain medications.
After osseointegration is complete, usually in a few weeks or months, you will return to our office to have the abutment or dental crown placed.
Cost is always important, of course, especially as we age. Dental implants cost about $5000 on average for a single tooth, but the actual cost varies, depending on the patient’s individual needs. Ask us about how patients are able to get dental implants by paying as little as $50/month!
Because dental implants are permanent, they require a one-time investment. Compared with dentures or dental bridges that need replacement every 7 to 10 years, affordable dental implants are often the more cost-effective choice in the long run. Some private insurance companies may cover part of the cost.
If you are age 50 or older and have one or more missing teeth, dental implants may be right for you. For more information about dental implants in Bolingbrook, schedule a free consultation with us at 311 Dental! It’s time you receive the treatment you deserve so you can smile confidently for a lifetime!