Classically, tooth loss has been the most prevalent dental status among older patients. Edentulism has even been accepted as a sign of human aging by professionals in medicine, geriatrics and dentistry. In this sense, in the last 100 years the most frequent dental treatment among older adults has consisted, fundamentally, in the extraction of diseased natural teeth and their replacement by artificial prosthetic teeth.
In recent decades, the use of dental implants has become increasingly important in the clinical practice of geriatric dentistry or gerodontology. In this sense, dental implants can replace the loss of one, several or all teeth in the geriatric patient. However, the possibility of replacing lost teeth with prosthetic structures on implants has represented a revolution in the treatment of totally edentulous or edentulous patients. The long-term success of oral rehabilitation of edentulous jaws has been established through prostheses on dental implants.
Oral implantology has undergone a breakthrough in recent years, since it allows replacing lost teeth with a high degree of satisfaction at a functional and aesthetic level. The partial or total loss of teeth not only affects facial aesthetics but also functions as vital as chewing and phonation.
In this type of patients we can perform prosthodontic rehabilitation with a high percentage of success, which before could only be done with the treatment with a conventional removable complete prosthesis, with the limited benefit that this treatment gave.
The great development of oral implantology, and its long-term success as well as the benefit it produces in older patients, has made it possible for oral health professionals to offer this treatment alternative in total toothless patients. understand that the therapeutic success with dental implants in the edentulous elderly patient depends on a comprehensive assessment (general and oral health) with a prior planning of treatment, a strict surgical and prosthodontic protocol, and the implementation of a program of lifelong follow-ups.
Currently, dental implant treatment is a very important dental alternative in the prosthodontic rehabilitation of elderly patients. The dentist needs to assess the patient’s expectations according to their systemic and oral status, to make a diagnosis and an individualized treatment plan. Surgical and prosthodontic techniques must be established in an appropriate manner with the objective and subjective needs of the patient to achieve favorable clinical results both in functional and aesthetic aspects that significantly improve their quality of life.