Dental Implants For Seniors: Key Questions

One health condition that afflicts many senior citizens is extensive tooth loss. This problem can make your golden years more difficult, since this issue is not only painful, it can the create problems eating and interfere with your socializing. One excellent solution for seniors with serious dental issues is getting dental implants. Here's a look at some of the key questions people 65 and over might have about this subject.

What are Implants?

Dental implants are replacements for the roots of your teeth. Made of a strong material, such as titanium, they are surgically implanted so as to bond with your jawbone. Once the implant is stabilized and in place, your dentist can apply a permanent crown on the implant to replace the missing tooth.

Am I Eligible?

Your age is not an issue in regards to being eligible for dental implants. As long as you have missing teeth that need to be replaced, you can have the surgery in most cases. The only important eligibility requirement is that you must be in good health overall. For example, if you have a chronic disease that weakens your immune system, you would not be a good candidate for dental implants because this type of health condition could interfere with your recovery from the procedure. To determine if you are a eligible candidate, you will need to undergo both a medical checkup by physician and a dental checkup by a dentist.

Does Insurance Cover Implants?

No simple answer to this question is possible, because some insurance companies and plans will pay for the dental implant procedure, while other insurers will not. Also, some companies will pay only part of the cost. For instance, an insurer might pay to have the implant applied to your mouth, but not pay for the crown to be applied to the implant. Ask your insurer about their specific policies.

How Long Does It Take?

The average time it takes to complete the dental implant process varies depending on your particular situation, but a typical time-frame is five to eight months. A lot of this time involves allowing your mouth to heal after the implant is inserted into your mouth. After the healing has taken place, a crown can be applied to the implant.

Implants are a great way for seniors to solve their dental issues by permanently replacing missing teeth. To learn more, talk with your dentist about whether this option is a good idea for you.