June 13, 2024

Oak Leaf Manor

Promoting Healing and Healthcare

5 Common Complications of Dental Implants in The Elderly

The elderly patient smiles at the camera.

Are you wondering if you are too old for dental implants? Fortunately, they are just as safe and effective in older patients as they are in younger ones. However, complications of dental implants in the elderly are more likely to happen. This is because aging itself is a risk factor for other health conditions that can hinder the success of implant treatment. Plus, surgery always poses some risks. In any case, consult your dentist if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Dental implants are a great restorative option for seniors with missing teeth.


Dental Implant Surgery: Are You Too Old for The Procedure

A dental implant is a tooth root with a metal, screw-like post that is surgically attached to the jaw bone to hold an artificial tooth.The dentist explains the complications of dental implants in the elderly.

As you age, tooth decay and gum disease are more prevalent. These conditions are also common reasons for several elderly people to lose their teeth. Sometimes, individuals end up needing dentures though they can immediately turn into a disturbance when loose. Smiling and eating may demonstrate troublesome and even pain.

That is why the elderly should not waste time with dentures if these appliances are not coordinating with their lifestyle. Dental implant surgery is the best solution for individuals, regardless of their age. It definitely improves the quality of life through appropriate nourishment and healthy habits.

However, some health factors may cause implant failure, and the procedure itself generally poses some complications.


Complications of Dental Implants in the Elderly

Patient’s condition is different among individuals, particularly in the elderly. If you have upcoming dental implant surgery, here are the things you need to know about implant failure and other possible complications in older patients.



Infection can happen at the area of the implant, causing inflammation and discomfort.

Individuals should take great care of their dental implants to diminish the danger of infection. It is imperative to follow the dentist’s instructions regarding aftercare.

Treatment for the condition relies upon the seriousness and area of the infection. For instance, a bacterial infection in the gum may need antibiotics or soft tissue graft. While the infection in the bone may need to remove the infected bone tissue and perhaps the implant, followed by a bone and soft tissue graft.


Loose Implant

In the initial few weeks, the dental implant will be developing into and combining with the jawbone. This cycle is known as osseointegration, and it is essential to the lasting success of the implant. In any case, the process can require numerous months.

If the implant fails to combine with the bone, the dentist or oral surgeon may eliminate it. An individual might have the option to reattempt the implant procedure once the region has recovered.


Gum Recession

Sometimes, an individual may discover that the gum tissue around the implant starts to recede. This condition can prompt irritation and pain. Getting an evaluation from a dentist is essential to prevent the extraction of the implant.


Nerve Or Tissue Damage

In some cases, an oral surgeon may unintentionally place an implant too close to a nerve. This can result in tingling, pain, numbness in teeth, gums, lips, or chin.

A tissue or nerve damage requires immediate medical care. Injury to the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) in the lower jaw can be severe dental implant complications in the elderly.


Sinus Problems

Implants in the upper jaw can protrude into the sinus cavities, making the sinuses swell. This condition is called sinusitis.

Common symptoms of sinusitis include:The senior patient visits a dentist to consult his dental implant issues.

  • toothache
  • bad breath
  • pain, swelling, or soreness around the cheeks, eyes, or brow
  • a congested nose
  • sinus headaches
  • yellow or green nasal mucus
  • a diminished sense of smell
  • a high temperature

Furthermore, remember that older adults have a more gradual healing process compared to younger patients. This reason increases the possibility of complications of dental implants in the elderly.


Dental Implant Risk Factors for Elderly

Several risk factors could affect the success of dental implant surgery in older patients. These include:


Gum Disease

To get dental implants, patients should have healthy gums, and you cannot have this treatment with present gum disease. Elderly patients are at high risk for the condition.

Gum disease can harm the gums and jaw bone, and if untreated, it can progress around the implant and prompt failure. Visit a dentist to address gum disease before having dental implants.



Smoking or using any tobacco products can likewise result in dental implant failure since it limits blood circulation to the gums, slowing the recovery process. Various studies show that smokers can have an implant failure rate of up to 20%.


Bone Loss or Insufficient Jaw Bone

An effective treatment is also dependent on the adequate bone to hold the implant. Without sufficient healthy bone, the surgeon or dentist cannot surgically place the screw-like post into your jaw.

Bone loss can occur with osteoporosis, and this develops when bone density diminishes. Bones become delicate, and there is a high risk of fractures. Severe gum disease can likewise cause bone loss in the mouth.


Health Conditions

Suppose you are diagnosed with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or an autoimmune disease. In that case, there is a big possibility that your dental implant may fail. This is because those conditions make the body heal at a slower speed. A slow healing process can prevent the implant from integrating or fusing with your jaw bone.

Taking particular medications can likewise prompt implant failure. Hence, it is necessary to talk about any medicines that you are using with your dentist. In case you cannot get implants you can opt for dentures instead. Go to this website to read the pros and cons.


Poor Dental Maintenance

Doing proper oral hygiene after getting dental implants can also affect the success rate. You are not a good candidate for an implant procedure if you have limitations that influence your scope of movement or meddle with the capacity to completely clean your teeth.