Dental Implants for Pensioners

As we age, dental health becomes even more important. Many pensioners may face the challenge of missing teeth and the impact it can have on their overall well-being. Dental implants offer a solution that can restore functionality and improve quality of life.

In this article, we explore the benefits and risks of dental implants for pensioners, alternative options, recovery time, practical considerations, and the cost of dental implants. We also address common questions and concerns, including insurance coverage, pre-existing conditions, and limitations. 

Whether you’re a pensioner considering dental implants in Perth or seeking information for a loved one, this comprehensive guide will provide valuable insights to help you make informed decisions.

Dental Implants for Pensioner - Dentist Perth ServicesIs it a Good Idea for Pensioners to Get Dental Implants?

Yes, it is beneficial for pensioners to get dental implants. The implants aid in resolving dental issues commonly found in pensioners due to gum disease, general deterioration of oral health, natural ageing, or oral trauma. They enhance comfort and improve speech and chewing abilities, restore self-confidence, and lead to a better quality of life overall.  

Moreover, dental implants provide an appealing option for protecting bone structure, promoting healthy gums and reducing chances of tooth loss, consequently offering a more functional and permanent solution compared to alternatives like partial dentures. In addition, per Healthline, dental implant solutions are also available for pensioners suffering from osteoporosis; however, you must consult with your dentist and oral surgeon to determine the best options for your individual situation.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are natural-looking, artificial, titanium roots (also known as anchors or posts) that are implanted into the jawbone by a prosthodontist. The implant dentist will then apply a crown on the implants, which will function as the new tooth. 

The implants fill in the gaps left by the loss of one or more natural teeth due to age, injury, or disease. The goal of the dental implant procedure is to restore your oral function and aesthetic appearance, while also preserving the health of your adjacent teeth.

Why are Dental Implants the Most Ideal Option for Pensioners?

Easy maintenance

Unlike partial dentures, dental implants function like your natural teeth, so you can maintain them with regular brushing and flossing. This daily maintenance goes a long way in enhancing your dental hygiene. 

Convenient and cost-effective

Even though dental implants are classified as invasive procedures, they can be a more convenient and cost-effective solution, especially for pensioners replacing multiple teeth. This is because, unlike conventional dentures that need to be replaced every five to seven years, dental implants can last for at least 20 years with proper care. 

Various implant and payment plans 

Furthermore, there are various false teeth options available. Options include replacing a single tooth, several teeth, or a full arch (e.g. All-on-4 dental implant) depending on your individual needs. Given the wide range of financial options available, including health fund benefits and flexible payment options, pensioners can easily find a dental treatment plan that suits their budget.

Improved jawbone health 

Dental implants help preserve jawbone health. When you lose a tooth, the jawbone starts to recede, causing your face to appear sunken over time. Because the implant is inserted into the bone, it stimulates bone growth (through osseointegration) and prevents this kind of bone loss, maintaining your facial structure.

Dental Implants Benefits and Risks

Benefits Risks
Permanent Longer recovery times, often due to slower osseointegration and bone growth
Function as natural teeth Adverse reactions to anaesthesia
Aid overall dental hygiene and improve oral health Implant failure if post-procedure maintenance is not followed
Greater self-confidence  
Reduced gum disease  

Pensioner getting prepped for dental implant procedureDental Implants Cost for Pensioners: An Overview

The cost of dental implants in Australia can vary depending on several factors including the total number of implants required, the cost of bone grafting if needed, and the specific dental clinic or specialist prosthodontist that you choose. While it’s true that dental implants carry a higher initial cost than partial dentures, many pensioners find that they provide better long-term value.

How much is covered by medical insurance?

While each health fund will have its own specific stipulations, implants are usually covered under major dental care or prosthodontics insurance plans. The reimbursement percentage can differ greatly, so seniors should review their policy details or consult with their health fund to calculate potential out-of-pocket expenses for dental implants to replace missing teeth.

Dental Implants and Pre-existing Conditions

The success of dental implants can be hindered by factors such as poor oral hygiene or other pre-existing conditions. This is because dental implants can only work properly in healthy gums and rely on proper dental hygiene. Dentists who specialise in dental implant placements typically advise patients first to achieve the highest possible standard of oral hygiene.

Additionally, conditions like diabetes and osteoporosis, which affect the body’s ability to heal and recover, could also affect dental implant treatment success. People with these conditions may experience difficulty or delay in the healing process after dental implant placement. 

Moreover, if you have any bone density issues, you must discuss this with your dentist as this could impact the success of your implants as well as the procedure that needs to be followed. Habits like smoking or heavy alcohol consumption can also negatively affect dental health and potentially compromise the outcome of dental implant treatment.

At Radiant Smiles, our team of experienced dentists offers a wide range of general and cosmetic dentistry, as well as implants and dentures. We recognise that each individual has different demands, particularly our elderly patients, which is why we provide comprehensive consultations and personalised procedures and treatment plans targeted to your specific needs. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and begin your dental implant plan. 

Dental Implants for Seniors and Pensioners FAQs

What if I only need partial dentures or a single tooth implant?

Dental implants can replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or a full arch. If you’re only missing one tooth, a single implant will suffice. However, if you’re missing several adjacent teeth, partial dentures or multiple teeth implants might be the better option. Your implant dentist will suggest the best treatment solution for your specific needs.

How are dental implants cared for?

One of the several advantages of dental implants is that they require the same maintenance as natural teeth. Brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist on a regular basis will keep your implants in good condition. Maintaining good dental hygiene is critical to preventing gum disease and ensuring the longevity of your implants.

Are there any risks involved with dental implants?

As with any surgical procedure, dental implant surgery does come with some risks. However, these are rare, typically minor, and can be treated easily. Your skilled implant dentist will discuss these potential risks with you during your consultation.

Are dental implants painful?

Most patients report that the discomfort experienced is less than that of a tooth extraction. Local anaesthesia is used during the procedure to minimise any pain after dental implants and post-operative discomfort can usually be managed with over-the-counter painkillers. Patients also report feeling some pain on the first night after the procedure, but the pain goes away quite quickly after that.