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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

If you are a senior considering dental implants, you may have to worry about issues other dental patients don't have to think about. For example, you may need more time to recover after receiving your implants. My name is Jodi, and I've been working with seniors for years. I decided to create this blog to help the seniors I can't meet in person. In this space, I'm going to post entries on everything related to dental implants and seniors. From tips on flossing implants after arthritis has claimed some of your dexterity, to guiding you through the implants-vs-dentures debate, this blog is designed for you. Thanks for reading. I hope you find what you need!



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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

What Does Getting Dental Implants Mean?

by Jimmy Carter

When you first visit your prosthodontist (the dental specialist who treats missing teeth), they will examine your mouth, request X-rays and then inform you whether you are a good candidate for dental implants. If you are not, don't worry, the prosthodontist will recommend alternative treatments like dentures and dental bridges.

If you are a good candidate (your jaws are in good health), the dentist explains the procedure and answers any questions. Here is a summary of what you can expect.

Number of Teeth That Require Replacement

For each tooth that needs replacement, a denture implant made from titanium is drilled into your jawbone to act as an artificial root. Since dental implants require access to your jawbone, surgery might be required. However, if only two teeth or a single tooth need replacement, the prosthodontist may use local anaesthesia to numb your gum. Local anaesthesia is also used if you have a condition that puts you at risk if general anaesthesia is used.

The Process

The prosthodontist numbs you or administers general anaesthesia. Once you are unconscious or completely numbed, they cut your gum to expose your jawbone. A hole is drilled, and then a dental implant is screwed into the hole.

The dental implant comes with a cover that allows the prosthodontist to avoid a second surgery. Instead, during the first surgery, the prosthodontist sews your gum around the dental implant cover. After healing for about a few weeks, the dentist only needs to replace the cover with a dental crown, which is a simple procedure.

Is The Dental Implant Process Painful?

Since you may be unconscious during the dental implant procedure, you might not feel a thing. However, you might feel some discomfort and soreness after your general anaesthesia wears off. Your dentist will prescribe medication to make you comfortable. After a day or two in the clinic (your dentist might need to keep you close for observation), you'll likely be discharged to recover at the comfort of your home. Pain medication will be provided and instructions on what to eat and how to care for your wound.

The Cost

Dental implants are expensive because they are made of titanium, and the procedure involves surgery. You might want to save up or take up dental insurance medical cover to afford them. Since they also give the best results and have low maintenance adds to the reasons they are costly. For more information about dental implants, reach out to a professional.