Senior dental care doesn't have to be synonymous with gap-toothed smiles. We partner with our patients to help preserve as many of their natural teeth as possible. Our team is passionate about helping you maintain your oral health well into your retirement years.
Replacing Lost Teeth
Improving dental technology has made it more common for people to keep all their natural teeth into their golden years. However, sometimes the best choice for your senior dental care is to pull problem teeth. It is important to replace missing teeth to maintain the structural integrity of your mouth.
- A bridge replaces one or two missing teeth when the surrounding teeth are still strong. A few prosthetic teeth are anchored on each end by a crown that attaches to the natural teeth roots.
- Partial dentures replace a few missing teeth when the surrounding teeth are too weak to support a bridge. These dentures hook onto or around neighboring teeth but provide their own structure and support.
- Dentures are the best choice when there are no natural teeth left. Dentures are a full arch of teeth supported by a base.
- Overdentures are a type of denture set that uses the roots of natural teeth or dental implants as anchors. Keeping teeth roots in the jawbone helps to prevent deterioration of the bone and provides a more solid foundation for dentures. Also, chewing with over-dentures is similar to the natural chewing sensation.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Screening for oral cancer is one aspect of preventative care that becomes more important as you age. Cancer screenings are typically very brief and occur during routine visits. Your dentist will visually inspect your gums, cheeks, and roof of your mouth for discoloration or growths. Anything concerning may require further testing, however many growths are non-cancerous. Because your chances of survival increase significantly, catching oral cancer early can be literally a matter of life and death.
Senior dental care, like care throughout your life, relies heavily on your body's built-in functions of defense. Your body's first layer of defense is saliva. Saliva helps to clean out your mouth on a regular basis, prevents bad breath, keeps harmful bacteria in check, and strengthens your enamel. Dry mouth is slightly more common among seniors as many of them take medications that decrease saliva as a side effect. Other main causes of dry mouth include dehydration, tobacco use, and alcohol. Some easy ways to increase your saliva are to drink plenty of water, chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candies. If your dry mouth is a side effect of a medication and difficult to overcome, speak with your PCP about alternative medication options.
Your quality of life is important to us. Have high expectations for what your teeth look like and can do, and let us be a part of making your smile exactly what you want it to be.