Holly, from New Brunswick, asks:
My mother is 70 years old and is considering dental implant surgery. She's had a full upper denture plate for most of her adult life and she hopes to avoid the pain, bleeding, and endless re-fittings that her own mother endured in the years before her death at 94. She's been told that due to lack of bone, however, she would need a graft (from the hip).
However, I am very concerned about the age factor and would like to know some
stats re. dental implant surgery vs. the age of the patient. Are there
any specific risks or potential complications that older patients
specifically need to consider? Are there a certain types of dental implant
that are more successful for older patients, or that hold up better as
Some details: My mother doesn't smoke or drink, other than the
occasional glass of wine with dinner, she eats well, and has been told
she does not have osteoporosis (as her mother did have), although she
is very petite at 5'2". She has arthritis (hands, shoulder, knees and ankles), for which she uses
over-the-counter pain medication (i.e. Tylenol), and she's been found
to have a slight iron deficiency in recent years, for which she's
taking iron supplements. She was taking hormones for many years (re.
menopause) but went off them a year or two ago on the advice of her
doctor (concerned about potential risks).
Overall, she's considered healthy, but I'm worried and would appreciate
some solid information and examples, from both doctors and anyone who's
had the surgery in their Golden Years.
Thank you in advance for your input.