By Dr. Adrian Acosta
As we age, our bodies can lose their strength and dexterity, causing bones to become brittle and muscles to become weak. Thankfully, with a healthy diet, proper oral care, and good lifestyle choices you can prolong or prevent this from happening. Unfortunately, however, many elderly patients have already suffered some form of oral trauma or poor dental care and have already sustained serious damage to their mouth.
When working with older patients, it is important to keep in mind that they may have an extensive medical or dental history. As Founder of Acosta Dental Arts, PA, I find it crucial to teach my team to always take special consideration with older patients to help understand the extent of their oral health needs and how long it has been since they have received regular dental care. Other health concerns may also factor into the state of their mouth, which should be observed and recorded as necessary.
Tooth Loss in Senior Citizens
Tooth loss is a common occurrence for people over the age of 65, with seniors having an average of less than 20 remaining teeth in their mouth. While we understand dental procedures might not always fall within the price range most people can immediately afford, we still always recommend inquiring about payment plans to help cover costs in a manageable way.
Not replacing missing teeth in the mouth can pose a significant danger to the jaw as it can accelerate bone loss or bone resorption. Once the tooth is lost, it causes the jawbone to deteriorate and can increase the likelihood of more tooth loss. The longer you wait to address the problem the worse it can get and the costlier.
As tooth loss continues, it directly affects a person’s ability to chew, talk, and communicate. It can also change your appearance both aesthetically and physically, by causing the jawbone to change in shape as it goes through bone and tissue loss. As it progresses, it can cause your cheeks and chin to droop and sag, enhancing an aged appearance. This can put a strain on a person’s self esteem and can cause reclusiveness or depression.
To top that off, it can also increase the risk of addition oral conditions, such as gingivitis and tooth decay. Taking care of tooth loss as soon as possible can help improve your quality of life and boost self-confidence.
Solutions For Specific Needs
This is a big reason why dentures are so popular amongst older men and women. Not only can they help to reduce bone loss that can occur following tooth loss, dentures can also help to stabilize the mouth and offer synthetic teeth that replace the lost ones for both oral health and aesthetic reasons. They are a prevalent choice among many of our patients because they are available in a variety of styles and price tiers to help meet every patient’s dental and financial needs, such as:
Basic: The more affordable option. Offers a wide range of options and colors and comfortable shaped dentures ideal for full and partial sets.
Premium: Our mid-level option offers customization options for uniquely crafted dentures specially designed to meet your needs and are impact, stain, and wear resistant.
Ultra: Our highest quality option is ideal for patients who wish for the ultimate in long-lasting, comfort, and reliability from their denture set. Top-of-the-line materials, high-quality color blending and translucency to offer the most life-like appearance available.
Implants are the most effective solution for tooth loss as the permanent fixture works to prevent bone loss by acting as a replacement tooth in the jawbone. However, many patients express concern at the surgery that is required to have them set-up. Additionally, this procedure may not always be ideal for older patients.
Dentures can work as a more comfortable solution for some patients, as it offers them the option to remove them, make them semi-permanent, or have partial dentures.
Comprehensive Care for All Ages
Thanks to advances in dental technology, we and other dental practices can provide dentures that look, feel, and function just like real teeth. There is no reason why you should have to suffer from side effects of weakened jaws and tooth loss. For example, certain foods that they may have had to give up due to tooth loss can be enjoyed again with dentures.
One of the most important accessories a person can have is their smile. So always make sure to find a dental practice that helps ensures you always have a radiant smile as it can make a world of difference in your life.
Dr. Adrian Acosta, is a owner of Acosta Dental Arts, PA and is Board Certified Dentist in North Palm Beach with extensive experience in the dental care of adults, children, adolescents, and special needs patients.