Scientific article

Implants for elderly patients

Published inPeriodontology 2000, vol. 73, no. 1, p. 228-240
Publication date2017

In the developed world, the large birth cohorts of the so-called baby boomer generation have arrived in medical and dental practices. Often, elderly patients are 'young-old' baby boomers in whom partial edentulism is the predominant indication for implant therapy. However, the generation 85+ years of age represents a new challenge for the dental profession, as their lives are frequently dominated by dependency, multimorbidity and frailty. In geriatric implant dentistry, treatment planning is highly individualized, as interindividual differences become more pronounced with age. Nevertheless, there are four typical indications for implant therapy: (i) avoidance of removable partial prostheses; (ii) preservation of existing removable partial prostheses; (iii) stabilization of Kennedy Class I removable partial prostheses; and (iv) stabilization of complete prostheses. From a surgical point of view, two very important aspects must be considered when planning implant surgery in elderly patients: first, the consistent strive to minimize morbidity; and, second, the fact that coexisting medical risk factors are significantly more common in elderly patients. Modern three-dimensional cone beam computed tomography imaging is often indicated in order to plan minimally invasive implant surgery. Computer-assisted implant surgery might allow flapless implant surgery, which offers a low level of postoperative morbidity and a minimal risk of postsurgical bleeding. Short and reduced-diameter implants are now utilized much more often than a decade ago. Two-stage surgical procedures should be avoided in elderly patients. Implant restorations for elderly patients should be designed so that they can be modified to become low-maintenance prostheses, or even be removed, as a strategy to facilitate oral hygiene and comfort in the final stage of life.

Citation (ISO format)
SCHIMMEL, Martin et al. Implants for elderly patients. In: Periodontology 2000, 2017, vol. 73, n° 1, p. 228–240. doi: 10.1111/prd.12166
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0906-6713

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