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I have had dental implants for a little over ten years. I finally have some money and wondered if it is too late for me to get dental implants. Mine haven’t been fitting well lately anyway so this seems like the perfect time. Have you had any experience with patients in my situation?
It is never too late to get dental implants. However, the length of time you have been without teeth can lead to the need for an additional procedure before proceeding. When your teeth were first removed, you body immediately began absorbing the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere. This is in an effort to be as efficient as possible with your body’s resources. It is a beautiful design. Unfortunately, the longer you are without teeth, the more your jawbone shrinks. After ten or so years, you lose too much jawbone to adequately retain your dentures. This is the beginning of facial collapse, and is likely why you are struggling with the fit of your dentures at the moment.
One thing you will need to do is have some diagnostics done to see what your bone structure is like. This would need to be done even if you still had all your teeth. Dental implants are a three-dimensional procedure and requires the correct diagnostics. Once you have an idea what you are dealing with, your dentist can determine if you are in need of any bone grafting. This is a procedure that can rebuild your missing bone and get you into a position where you can actually get the dental implants you want.
I have some more good news for you too. The dental implants signal to your brain that you have teeth in your jaw again. This means it will leave your jawbone intact, thereby protecting you from facial collapse. In your case, I would get between four to six dental implants on each arch and then securing new dentures to them. This is known as implant overdentures.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.