If you're tired of ill-fitting denture problems, but think you're too old for implants to hold your dentures in place, you may want to think again. When you discuss getting implants with your dentist, you may find that age is not a factor at all. In fact, implants have advantages for seniors. Here are a few things to consider about getting implants at an older age.

Dealing With Bone Loss

One problem you may encounter is lack of enough bone in your jaw to hold the implants. This is a natural development when you have worn dentures for a long time and there are no teeth left to stimulate your jawbone. One solution to bone loss is to have a bone graft. Bone from your hip is taken to build up the bone in your jaw. If you have conditions that often accompany aging such as arthritis or osteoporosis, you may not want to undergo this surgery.

An alternative is to get mini implants. These rods are much smaller than the rods used for traditional implants, so you don't need as much bone to hold them in place. Mini implants are often a good choice for holding dentures securely, especially in the lower jaw where there is not much bone to start with.

Choosing Your Anesthesia

You can generally have your choice of anesthesia when you have implants. Since you already wear dentures, you won't need several teeth pulled, but you'll need anesthetic before the dentist inserts the implants. Some implant dentists like to use a general anesthetic so you go to sleep and wake up when it's over. However, if you're concerned about undergoing general anesthesia due to your age and risk of side effects, talk to your dentist about having a local injection like you get with a filling. Your dentist may even further your comfort with IV sedation, gas, or oral medications that relax you but don't make you unconscious.

Undergoing The Procedure

If you're leery about getting implants to hold your dentures in place because of the lengthy procedure, you should know that getting mini implants for dentures can often be done in a single day. It's true if you get a bone graft, you'll need several months for the bone to heal before you can get an implant. If you get a large post that's used in a traditional implant, it will take several months for it to fuse with your bone and become secure.

However, you can avoid all that when you get mini implants. Because they are small, they are quick and easy to put in. They are often put in at an angle and that makes them stable right away. You might be able to get your dental implants and new dentures in a single office visit and eat solid foods on them in a few days.

Enjoying The Benefits

Having implants to hold your dentures in place eliminates annoying problems with your dentures slipping when you speak and eat. This is especially helpful as you get older. If your teeth are secure, and you don't have sore spots from denture slipping, you're likely to eat better and enjoy better nutrition as a result. Implants may even improve your social life since you'll be able to eat in public, talk, and laugh without fear of your dentures coming loose.