When is it Too Late to Get Dental Implants?

When is it Too Late to Get Dental Implants?

In my 35 years of practice focusing on dental implants, I have met with a number of people who have been told by their dentist they could not have dental implants because there wasn’t enough bone. Despite being told this – I have always let them know there is still hope.


Why? If teeth are missing, and there is a desire to replace them with dental implants, it is possible. All you need is some bone, someplace. Not much. Just enough.


How Much Bone is Required for Dental Implants?

Dental implantsWhen is it Too Late to Get Dental Implants are made of titanium, and living bone grows onto titanium as if it were other living bone through a process is called osseointegration. Once bone grows onto the implant’s surface and a tooth, or teeth, are attached to the solidly-anchored implant, the bone is “exercised” when you chew on the teeth. That’s important for the long term survival of the implant, and when that happens, the osseointegrated implant can last the rest of a person’s life.


The key to answering the blog’s question depends upon the bone. Or, more precisely, the amount of bone remaining. For the implant to be successful, there must be bone to grow onto the implant’s surface to anchor it solidly. When a tooth, or teeth, are removed, the bone that used to hold that tooth, or teeth, instantly becomes “unemployed.” It will heal by collapsing inward into the empty socket and shrinking. If that bone is never given another job to do, like growing onto an implant, the bone will slowly shrink every day, every week, every month and every year, till the person dies.


Learn more about this process from our previous blog post on what happens when you lose a tooth by clicking here. 


However, if given a “second chance in life” by growing onto a dental implant, that bone will remain, and in many instances, can even rejuvenate itself.


When is it too late due to bone loss?  

It is never too late for a dental implant – as long as there is enough bone remaining to insert it.


For years I worked with the genius who discovered osseointegration, Swedish orthopedic surgeon Professor P-I Brånemark and we operated together to help people enjoy life again through the near-miracle that is osseointegration of implants. I worked with him for over 30 years, starting in the mid-80’s. Osseointegration helps patients with orthopedic problems and dental problems. Even when there appeared to not be enough bone to work with, we were able to find enough usable bone, and/or rebuild lost bone so that dental implants could work. Since the early 90’s, I have been teaching doctors in the U.S. and around the world, things I’ve learned alongside Professor Brånemark.


Remember this- even if you’ve been told you’re not a candidate for dental implants, there is hope. Come in and let us help you. Before much more of that precious bone shrinks away!

Have you been told that it’s too late for dental implants by another dentist?  Or are you unsure and want to find out if this life changing option is available to you?  Click below to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sevetz:

2 Responses to When is it Too Late to Get Dental Implants?

  1. Kimberly

    I am 50 years old I have had dentures full top and bottom for 10 years, I have never liked them, who does but I needed them. I was in a very bad relationship that resulted in me being physically abused . Missing teeth and so on.. For years I just dealt with the dentures but it is so true, you loose so much after awhile your facial structure doesn’t look the same. I am lost on what to do now 10 years later do I get new dentures? And continue to loose the bone and look older than I am? Or do I look for something else, look for something else of course. But now I’m being told I’ve worn dentures to long? I’m heartbroken
    I’m hoping to get some information and good news..


  2. Nancy percey

    Hi. I’m nancy. I’m 30years young. I have a full set of dentures. I’ve had them for 8 years. I was never knowledgeable on how important dental implants were. Well the adventure has started. And here we are 10 dentist later and I still can’t get a good answer. I’ve had a few say they could do it. But this last one has me super confused. They want to take away the bone I have left (6mm) Completely grind away what I have left. And put implants in my lower jaw. They also tell me I can’t get bone grafting. I’ve tried to research and I can’t find out if I’m too late. Please help.

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