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Dental Implants for Elderly Patients Q & A

What happens if teeth are not treated in the elderly when they are missing?

"Tooth loss itself brings a variety of sequelae, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies, reduced physical strength or muscle strength due to social repulsion and depression due to loss of incisors, and eating disorders due to loss of molars. If you neglect these issues for a long period of time, you will have problems with oral hygiene and cause various systemic diseases.Bacterial growth caused by the food left behind in the mouth will lead to periodontal disease and increase the risk of heart disease and pneumonia.”


In the elderly, is it necessary to have molars?

"In order to chew and swallow the food efficiently, we need at least 18 remaining natural teeth. In particular, in order to eat meat well, there must be at least 20 to 24. Unless there is a major change, there must be two large molars on each of the left and right upper and lower jaws for normal food intake.”


Older people have many systemic diseases, can they get implant treatment?

"The elderly are at high potential for systemic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, immune deficiency, bronchial asthma, medication-related bleeding, liver disease, and kidney disease. do."


Are dentures better than fixed bridges for older people?

"Fixed bridges are much more comfortable than dentures in all aspects. A fixed bridge using natural teeth or implants can perform similar functions as my original teeth without putting them in and out of the mouth. There are cases where the patients cannot handle discomfort from the dentures. However, if there is an economic burden due to increased treatment costs or an unavoidable situation where implant surgery cannot be performed, dentures can be used.”


I am reluctant to get an implant because of the pain during treatment.

"The implant treatment technology continues to advance. Painless anesthesia can reduce pain and significantly shorten the treatment period. Recently, with computer-guided surgery, implants due to missing one or two teeth can be operated on the same day."


Can elderly patients who cannot perform major surgery receive implant treatment?

"There is a minimally invasive implant treatment method. With a simple operation, upper prosthetic teeth such as implant-retained magnetic dentures (dentures) and fixed implant bridges can be designed."


Recently, the 'Top-Down implant planning' is in vogue. What are the advantages?

“Top-down implant planning is not an unconditional implant operation, but rather an implant surgery from the time the patient first makes a treatment plan to the last prosthetic tooth and then proceeds with the implant surgery accordingly. It is like making a blueprint and then starting to drive the pillars of the building into the ground according to the blueprint. For this, diagnosis and treatment planning requires prosthetics and imaging dentistry.”

Youngmo Kang,DDS

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