Seniors may require dental implants for a variety of reasons. As people age, their teeth can become weakened and more susceptible to decay and damage. This can lead to tooth loss, which can have a negative impact on a person’s overall health and quality of life.
Missing teeth can make it difficult to chew food properly, leading to digestive problems and malnutrition. It can also affect speech, causing difficulties in communication and social interactions. Moreover, missing teeth can lead to bone loss in the jaw, which can affect the structure of the face and cause premature ageing.
Dental implants 101
Dental implants provide a durable and natural-looking solution for seniors who are missing one or more teeth. They can improve chewing ability, speech, and appearance, enhancing the overall quality of life, especially for seniors.
Dental implants are titanium screws inserted into the jawbone where a tooth used to be. The theory is that the titanium will gradually fuse with the jawbone, compensating for the expected bone loss when a tooth is extracted. A period of time will be set to fuse with the jawbone while a temporary crown is bolted to it via a rod called an abutment.
When visiting your dentist for possible dental implantation, you will be tasked to undergo a rigorous examination to further identify your viability for the procedure. An X-ray will reveal the general condition of the jawbone to determine if there’s sufficient foundation for the implant to anchor itself to.
Some dentists state that oral hygiene conditions such as smoking and bruxism or teeth-grinding do not outright disqualify a dental implant patient from consideration, but the chances of success may be lower, as they can affect the quality of the jawbone mass after insertion.
The gums will also be assessed as well for evidence of gum disease, or periodontitis. If that is the case, the problem should be resolved first before any implant work can begin, as gums weakened by periodontitis may lead to infection and implant failure if the procedure went ahead. However, diagnoses for diabetes, cancer, and immune disorders are grounds for automatic disqualification from dental implantation.
If you do qualify for dental implantation, the evaluation will also determine how the treatment will go. Certain degrees of jawbone loss may be countered by bone grafts to prepare the space for inserting the implant. The dental surgeon may opt to carry out the operation under local or special anaesthesia. The implant screw will then be topped off with a temporary crown
The recovery period after the treatment – around 24 to 48 hours – will bring moderate pressure pain, which may be treated with pain relievers. The treatment can include a second session after up to six months to allow for the placement of a permanent crown.
Why not dentures?
Some people may be confident of the flexibility offered by dentures as a way to compensate for tooth loss in later years. A number may even lament losing a few teeth years before as part of orthodontic work – at least those before the development of aligners.
However, conditions of the jawbone as a result of teeth loss could alter the fit of the denture. Depending on the material used in building the denture, a person may be forced to continually invest in denture cream to keep the piece locked in. This may be true of dentures fully made of synthetic material but not of dentures with metal frames.
Dental implants can rectify the situation. Depending on the evaluation of the teeth set, your dentist may recommend setting up implant-supported dentures, with “all on four” or “all on six” configurations, denoting how many implants may be installed. Those will serve as the main support beams for a brand-new denture with the associated titanium insertion points to lock it in place.
Finance for implantation
Dental implantations and even implant-supported dentures are expensive to a degree, and the final amount will depend on the evaluation conducted by your dentist. Some market comparison analysis platforms geared towards dental services pegged the price of a single implant procedure to between $2,850 to as high as $6,000; implant-supported denture costs can go as much as $30,000.
There are numerous ways to finance a treatment plan centred on implantation. The ADA already has a denture scheme wherein Pensioner Concession and Commonwealth Seniors Health cardbearers at least 65 years old can take advantage of reduced payments under a voucher. Any remaining amount can be paid out of pocket or under medicare or a medical insurance policy that also has extra dental coverage specifying payment for implants or implant-supported dentures.
Implants may be paid for using a medical expense loan, such as a reverse mortgage of the kind offered by ASAG. You can use part of your home’s equity to cover the payment and can be paid off anytime.
Benefits of dental implant
Opting for dental implants lends itself to improved quality of life in a number of ways.
- Better eating – the presence of replaced teeth installed by implants allows for added surface area to grind down food during eating.
- More self-confidence – Dental implants boost self-confidence in terms of showing more teeth in places where the original permanent teeth should have been. This may be true if a person lost some front teeth and is afraid of smiling.
- Maintained facial bone structure – Titanium is already an effective metal used in other orthopaedic surgeries, and in the case of implants, titanium can fuse with the jawbone and stop the decline of bone mass and the possibility of sagging faces.
- Improved oral hygiene – Implanted teeth will not affect neighbouring teeth and may better your cleaning efforts.
The ASAG Reverse Mortgage
Seniors’ life, whether ageing in place or living with loved ones, can be complicated and challenging when trying to recapture the quality of life you had in earlier years. Support from ASAG will help you overcome that impasse.
If you are without health insurance or lack the means to fully cover the cost of dental implants, you may have the opportunity to tap into your home equity with the ASAG Reverse Mortgage. This funding can be utilised for your daily expenses or any of your retirement goals.
If you require further information on the functionality of the ASAG Reverse Mortgage, the ASAG team would be pleased to provide assistance. You can contact us via phone at 1300 002 724 or by sending your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome your questions regarding our equity release solutions.
To begin the process, you may also use the tool provided below to evaluate your available equity.