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Are Dental Implants the Best Option to Replace a Missing Tooth?

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In most cases, getting a dental implant done to replace a missing tooth would be the best option. However, there are instances whereby getting a dental implant done may not be the best option because of the following factors:

  • Prohibitively high cost
  • Trauma leading to a significant loss of bone and gum
  • Presence of systemic diseases such as uncontrolled diabetes
  • Presence of uncontrolled gum disease

So it is often too simplistic to say that getting a dental implant done is the best option for everyone. A good dentist should be able to diagnose the severity of the injured area and after doing so, he should be able to advise you on the best treatment option that is best suited for your condition.

Lastly, I would strongly recommend that you consider replacing the missing tooth to avoid drifting of your teeth, leading to a collapsed bite. The more teeth you have missing, the more the remaining teeth have to compensate in terms of supporting your bite forces, which may lead to more wear and tear and other problems in the future.

Is It Worth It for Someone Over 70 to Get Dental Implants?

Whether or not dental implants would be “better” than dentures for 70-year-old patients depends on various factors. It is true that no one likes to go for surgery, no matter at what age, and for dental implants to be even considered, it must be determined that the benefits of the surgery far outweigh any risks. 

Generally speaking, dental implants are far superior to dentures in terms of strength, longevity, stability, comfort and even aesthetics. Age alone cannot be seen as the most important limiting factor in getting dental implants. Dental implants would be a good option to consider if the patient is:

  • Medically healthy and cleared by medical doctors to undergo dental implant surgery.
  • Not adverse to surgery
  • Has overall good dental and gum health
  • Has had a history of significant dislike for dentures with inability to chew well with them
  • Motivated to commit to see the dentist regularly to maintain and clean the dental implants
  • Able to accept any risks involved in the planned surgery
  • Adverse to trimming down his natural teeth to fit a dental bridge

In my practice, we routinely perform dental implant surgery for patients who are well above the age of 70 with no significant problems, provided the above factors are met. Older patients take longer to heal so I would make an effort to be all the more careful to make sure that the benefits that they get for going through the dental implant surgery is well worth any risks or inconveniences to the patient and family members.

Are Follow-Up Visits to the Dentist Required After Dental Implants?

After a dental implant procedure is completed, it is imperative that you go back to your dentist for follow-up visits. 

Regular active maintenance visits are so important to keep the state of your oral health in tip-top condition and to prevent painless and undetected dental problems from worsening.

Additionally, your trusted dentist will also help you to maintain your dental implant and to periodically make adjustments or repairs to the implant as needed.

How to Make Dental Implants Last for a Long Time

Brush and floss your dental implants regularly as you would any natural tooth and have them maintained at professional dental hygiene appointments with your trusted dentist at least 2 times per year. Avoid using your dental implants to open up beer bottles, crush on ice cubes, or pork bones and chili crab shells!


Dr. Gerald Tan