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Can I Be Too Old for Dental Implants?

Could I be too old for dental implants? I am 72 years old and have worn dentures since I was 52 years old – 20 years. My bone is thin and worn. My dentist relined my dentures so many times, but it doesn’t long. She asked me to consider dental implants. But is it worth it at my age? – Jean Luc from Illinois

Jean Luc,

Thank you for your question. Dr. Lim would need to complete an exam and 3-D x-rays to determine your eligibility for dental implants, but we will answer your question in general.

Can You Be Too Old for Dental Implants?

You are not too old for dental implants at age 72; there is not a maximum age. Anyone healthy enough for oral surgery can get dental implants. But after missing all your teeth for many years, most of your jawbone will shrink. No doubt, you have bone shrinkage, but you may still be a candidate for implants. An implant dentist or oral surgeon will take a 3-D CT scan to examine your oral anatomy and jawbone to determine your options for implant dentures.

Bone grafting

Diagram of implant denture - All on 4
Implant denture

An implant dentist or oral surgeon can use natural or synthetic bone and graft it in your jawbone. Your body will build up bone to support dental implants in three to four months. Two to six implants can support a denture. And you will not have to worry about poor-fitting dentures again.

All-on-4 implants

If you have enough thickness in the jawbone toward the front of your mouth, you may be eligible for All-on-4 implants. Your implant dentist will angle the implants to increase jawbone support. And you may not need any bone grafting.

Schedule an appointment with a dentist to discuss your options for implant dentures.

 

Dr. Heng Lim, an Owasso, Oklahoma cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.

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Can I Get Porcelain Veneers Reversed If I Don’t Want Them Anymore?

I am thinking about getting veneers to brighten my smile because I want them to be their absolute whitest. I know that many celebrities and athletes have veneers, and that is an example of how white I want my teeth. But I am wondering if someday I might not want them anymore. Can I get them taken off and reversed without damaging my teeth? Lucas from NY

Lucas –

A single porcelain veneer is held in a dental instrument to show that porcelain veneers are barely the thickness of a fingernail.Thank you for your question. Porcelain veneers are not reversible. Once you have them, a dentist can replace them if worn or damaged.

Why Porcelain Veneers Are Not Reversible

Porcelain veneers are not reversible for these reasons:

  • Before you receive porcelain veneers, a dentist prepares your teeth by lightly shaving away tiny amounts of tooth enamel. The light shaving prevents the veneers from looking bulky on your teeth.
  • When a dentist prepares your teeth, they remove a fraction of a millimeter of tooth enamel. But it will not grow back, and your dentist cannot replace it. Your teeth will no longer look natural without veneers.
  • Also, your etched teeth would be left unprotected and in a weaker state without porcelain veneers. And your teeth would be more susceptible to stains, bacteria, and decay.

Alternatives to Get Your Teeth White

Porcelain veneers are best for teeth that are uneven, damaged, or misshaped. They are not the only way to get your teeth white. In most cases, teeth bleaching from a dentist will get you the results you want.

First, a dentist will need to examine your teeth to determine the cause of the stains or discoloration. If your teeth are not fluorosis or tetracycline stained, a dentist can bleach them white easily.

Consult with an experienced cosmetic dentist to learn about the results you can expect with porcelain veneers or in-office whitening. Laser whitening will make your teeth brilliantly white in a single visit. Follow-up sessions and periodic at-home touch-ups will keep your smile bright.

 

Dr. Heng Lim, an Owasso, Oklahoma cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.

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How Many Times Can My Dentist Replace My Implant Crown?

After four tries, my dentist still can’t get my implant color right. Unfortunately, I think she has given up. My dentist explains that the color is challenging to match with my natural teeth to the right and the crown to the left. I do not understand that because my previous dentist matched the crown to my natural teeth. I think it’s just an excuse.

My dentist seems happy that my implant remains intact after removing and attaching crowns. That statement makes me nervous about letting a dentist try to get it right. How many times can I get the implant crown replaced before damaging the implants? – Thanks. Amias from Seattle

Amias,

Thank you for contacting our office. We are sorry to hear about your disappointing and frustrating experience with your implant crown.

How Many Times Can You Get an Implant Crown Replaced?

Dental implant crown, abutment, and root formA dentist can replace your implant crown multiple times by grinding it off. But it is best to find a dentist who can get the crown color right without replacing the crown repeatedly. Although you did not mention which tooth is affected, it sounds like a front tooth. If so, you will benefit from the expertise of an advanced cosmetic dentist.

How Can a Dentist Correct Your Implant Crown Color?

Dentists with advanced training in cosmetic dentist take multiple steps to ensure your implant crown matches your natural teeth and any nearby crowns. Many cosmetic dentists follow a process like this:

  • Draw a color map for the dental ceramist at the lab
  • Specify a basic shad in the written instructions
  • Draw areas where the ceramist needs to add tints to match the implant crown to the natural tooth exactly
  • Try in the crown when it arrives before cementing or bonding it
  • Take a photo of the try-in with your smile if the ceramist needs to adjust the color
  • Send the photo and additional instructions to help the ceramist achieve a perfect match

Switch to a Cosmetic Dentist for Your Implant Crown

If your dentist has tried to correct your crown color and failed repeatedly, it is time to switch to a cosmetic dentist. Your dentist has already admitted that the color match is challenging for her and implies that you should be happy that the implant is still intact. Perhaps your dentist is not concerned with aesthetics—creating an attractive smile that makes you feel confident.

Every patient deserves a crown that complements their smile instead of detracting from it. Look for two advanced cosmetic dentists and schedule consultations for second opinions. Discuss your options, and choose a dentist to give you what you want. And you can ask your current dentist for a refund for the crown because you are disappointed with the results and will have the crown redone.

 

Dr. Heng Lim, an Owasso, Oklahoma dentist, sponsors this post. Read what Dr. Lim does to provide his patients with some of the best dental care in Owasso.

 

Amias’s dentist can’t get his implant crown color right after four tries. Why is this happening? Should Amias ask for a refund?

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