Dental Care for Seniors: Great Smiles in Your Golden Years
By Randal Watson, DDS on September 30, 2017
As you can imagine, a person's age can greatly impact their dental health needs. Because of this, it's important that we tailor treatments to the patient and their current concerns in life. Rest assured that when you've come to our Austin cosmetic and restorative dentistry center, our focus will be on you.
As people get older, they have unique dental health concerns focused on improving wellness and general quality of life during the golden years. Here's an overview of senior dental care concerns.
Treatments for Missing Teeth
When people get older, they often experience varying degrees of tooth loss from years of wear and tear. Whether a person is missing a tooth or many teeth, dentists can craft a solution that restores the appearance of the smile as well as overall wellness. Bridges and dentures are a common solution for these problems, though dental implants may also be considered for patients who have healthy bone structure and sufficient gum tissue in place.
Treating Tooth Wear and Tear
As we noted above, teeth can sustain a lot of damage over the years, causing various kinds of chips, cracks, and fractures. Dentists can use different kinds of restorations to help improve the strength of the teeth and ensure they're functional enough for biting and chewing. Common dental restorations include dental fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns. The ideal restoration will depend on the health of the tooth/teeth.
Periodontal Health Issues
With advanced age, the health of the gums can undergo many changes. Gum recession may occur over decades, exposing tooth roots and causing a number of health issues. There's also the potential for gum disease, which can be ruinous to one's overall dental wellness. Dentists keep that in mind when treating elderly patients, and always work to restore, maintain, or improve the health of their gums.
Maintenance of Bridgework and Dentures
Bridges and dentures are durable, but they can eventually wear down or break over time. That's why part of senior dental care does involve repair and replacement of these dental appliances. We can take new impressions when making new bridges or dentures to ensure the most ideal fit possible.
Options for Dry Mouth
You may not realize it, but dry mouth becomes more of a problem as people get older. The lack of saliva product can result in greater risk of tooth decay and gum disease as well as general problems speaking and eating. We can recommend a number of treatments for this issue, even if it's simply making recommendations about hydration and artificial saliva products.
Addressing Jaw Joint Issues
A person's jaw may become stiff with time as a result of arthritis or a TMJ disorder. This can severely impact their life. We can offer a number of different treatments for jaw joint issues depending on what they entail, always with a focus on reducing pain and restoring mobility.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Cancer risks increase as a person becomes older. If you have a history of cancer in your family, it's important that any lesions or growths in the mouth be checked out. That's why we make sure an oral cancer screening can be part of dental visits with patients who have reached an advanced age.
Regular Dental Checkups
Visiting your dentist twice a year has no age limitations. Elderly patients can rest assured that their routine cleanings and checkups will continue well into the golden years. It's a great time to discuss their needs in person.
Learn More About Your Dental Care Options
If you would like more information about the dental care needs of people during different stages of life, be sure to contact an experienced family dentist today. We will work closely with you to help enhance the health of your smile and improve your overall quality of life for years and years to come.
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“We strive to make every experience a positive one.” Randal Watson, DDS, PA