Dentistry for Mature Adults
Dentistry for mature adults plays a critical role in keeping your teeth and gums healthy as you get older, which can also help your overall well-being. Maintaining the ability to speak, eat and socialize without discomfort or embarrassment contributes hugely to quality of life and general health. Time and wear and tear take a toll on our oral health, putting older people at greater risk of multiple issues including tooth loss and gum disease. Teeth staining also becomes a bigger problem with aging. Dentistry for mature adults provides solutions for all these issues and many more.
Advanced Tooth Replacement Systems
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five adults aged 65 or over has lost all their teeth. Advances in dental technology have led to improved teeth replacement solutions such as implants and dentures that can make you look younger.
Dental implants – artificial tooth roots – hold multiple advantages over more traditional tooth replacement options such as bridges and conventional dentures. Whether you’ve lost one or more teeth, implants can give you a strong bite function and are the only tooth replacement method that prevents loss of jaw bone and deterioration of facial structure.
Cutting-edge equipment such as computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacture (CAM) is making dental implants more affordable for older people – an important consideration if you lost your dental insurance coverage on retirement.
Dental implants boast a success rate of up to 98 per cent – the highest for any kind of implant surgery. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), implants are the most effective tooth replacement system for the present and for the foreseeable future.
Fountain of Youth Dentures
Another advanced tooth replacement option is provided by Fountain of Youth Dentures. While standard dentures can give your face an aging appearance, Fountain of Youth (FOY) Dentures can make you look years younger.
FOY Dentures are also more comfortable and functional than traditional dentures. They fit better by ensuring even pressure on the gums, which – like dental implants – also avoids the problem of jaw bone deterioration associated with regular dentures.
Fountain of Youth Dentures have been developed with the help of neuromuscular dental science to provide optimal bite, and they’re highly customized, designed to fit your facial structure as a whole, not just your mouth.
Gum Disease Treatments
Two-thirds of people in the U.S. aged 65-plus have gum disease – the main cause of tooth loss among adults. Gum disease (periodontitis) results from an accumulation of bacteria-laden plaque, and the subsequent infection attacks the bone and soft tissue supporting your teeth. This infection can also spread to other parts of your body, including vital organs.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary but the first line of defense and the most common treatment to halt the progression of gum disease is non-surgical – deep cleaning by scaling and root planing, and medication to counter inflammation. Scaling entails manual and/or ultrasonic dental techniques to remove build-ups of plaque and tartar (plaque that’s hardened with calcium accumulation). Planing (smoothing) a tooth root encourages healing, and the clean, even root surfaces help to combat future bacterial attack. Antibiotic medication can be used in conjunction with scaling and root planing. The drugs may be prescribed in tablet form or placed directly into the gum.
Cosmetic Treatments in Mature Adult Dentistry
Certain foods and drinks can over time stain our teeth, which can also become discolored as part of the aging process. Two cosmetic dental treatments popular among older people are teeth whitening and veneers.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening by a dentist or dental hygienist works faster and more effectively than over-the-counter products such as bleaching kits and whitening toothpastes. Professional whitening gets rid of stains from tooth enamel and lightens the color of the underlying dentin. One key advantage of professional teeth whitening is that your dentist or dental hygienist can give your teeth a professional cleaning ahead of the whitening process. A dental professional won’t go ahead with teeth whitening without ensuring your teeth and gums are healthy.
Dental veneers – ultra-thin tooth-colored shells – can fix several cosmetic issues, including stained or chipped teeth. Modern porcelain laminate veneers are thinner than ever, which avoids excessive trimming of enamel – the protective, outer layer of a tooth. Veneers are bonded to the front of teeth to improve color, shape or size, and are most often used to improve the appearance of the more visible front teeth.
Is Tooth Loss Inevitable as You Get Older?
The perceived inevitability of tooth loss with aging is a common misconception, according to oral health experts like the American Dental Association (ADA). It’s possible to keep your teeth for life. With a good routine of home oral healthcare and help from your dentist, tooth decay and gum disease are both preventable, whatever your age. However, oral healthcare becomes more important as we get older and changes develop in the mouth. Preventive dentistry for mature adults – such as regular dental exams and professional cleanings – will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
A good routine of oral hygiene is also essential. This includes:
- Brushing twice a day.
- Flossing daily.
- Avoiding or quitting smoking.
- Limiting alcohol intake.
How You Can Carry on Smiling with Confidence
Dentistry for mature adults can help to prevent or resolve a host of oral health problems that we become more susceptible to as time marches on. From hi-tech teeth replacement systems, non-surgical gum disease treatments and advanced cosmetic dental techniques, dentistry for older people can help you to continue smiling with confidence.
Other treatments available for older patients include:
- Fixing badly-fitting dentures.
- Root canal treatment.
- Tooth extractions.
If you’re a particularly nervous patient or maybe had a bad experience in the dental chair when you were younger, sedation dentistry for mature adults can help you get through any type of dental work.