Dental Implants in an Aged Population: Evaluation of Periodontal Health, Bone Loss, Implant Survival, and Quality of Life

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Abstract

Purpose:

To evaluate aged partially and fully edentulous patients who received dental implants and were maintained over time. Further, to determine how the partially and edentulous ageing populations (65 and above) with dental implants maintain bone levels, proper oral hygiene, and perceive benefits of dental implants.

Materials and Methods:

Since 1995, patients receiving dental implants have been prospectively entered into an Access-based computerized program (Triton Tacking System). Patient demographics (age, sex), bone quality, quantity, implant location, and type of surgery have been continuously entered into the database. The database was queried for patients receiving implants (first stage) between 66 and 93 years of age. Thirty-one patients were within this age group. Twenty-five patients returned to the clinic for periodontal and dental implant evaluation. The Periodontal Index was used to evaluate selected teeth in terms of probing depth, bleeding on probing, plaque accumulation, and mobility. Using NIH Image J, radiographs taken at second stage and last examination were measured for changes in interproximal bone levels. Once identified, each patient anomalously filled out an abbreviated quality of health life form. Due to small sample size, descriptive statistics were used to compare clinical findings.

Results:

Fifteen males ranging from 78 to 84 (mean age 84 years) years and 16 females from 66 to 93 (mean age 83 years) (age range 66–93) were contacted by phone or mail and asked to return to our office for a re-examination. For this group, the first dental implants were placed in 1996 (n = initial two implants) and continuously recorded through 2013 (n = last seven implants). Thirty-one patients received a total of 84 implants. Two patients were edentulous, and the remaining were partially edentulous. Four implants were lost. Between implant placement and 6- to 7-year interval, 13 patients with 40 implants had a cumulative survival rate of 94.6%. Of the original group (n = 33), three were deceased, two were in nursing homes, and three could not be located.

Conclusions:

Aged patients receiving dental implants had excellent implant survival rates, low periodontal disease index scores with minimal changes in interproximal bone levels. Results from this study indicate that patients with advanced age, in reasonably good health, have excellent implant survival rates, excellent quality of life scores, and can be maintained in good oral health.

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