Missing and Damaged Teeth
Ignoring Gaps in Your Teeth Can Lead to Problems
Statistics show that 69% of adults age 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth. By age 65 and older, seniors typically experience an average of three or more decayed or missing permanent teeth.
Just because you’re no longer a spry twenty-year-old doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look your best. Moreover, ignoring problems like damaged or missing teeth can cause seniors to experience unpleasant dental-related issues.
What Can Be Done?
For multiple missing teeth, permanent or “fixed” dental bridges are replacement options. Full or partial dentures might also be considered. Dentures may offer the least expensive means of replacing teeth. And fortunately, today’s dentures are more flexible and natural looking than they used to be.
Patients concerned about possible denture slippage and messy adhesives might want to consider dental implants to support bridges or a full set of dentures. A dental implant can successfully replace a single lost tooth or many teeth. A new titanium “root” is inserted into the jaw and supports a natural-looking crown. The resulting “tooth” looks, feels and functions just like other natural teeth.
Addressing Aesthetic Concerns
For damaged, cracked, chipped or discolored teeth, many safe, painless procedures like porcelain veneers, teeth whitening and crown replacement (using today’s natural-looking porcelain material) might be considered. Even worn, dark amalgam fillings can be replaced with cleaner-looking, tooth-colored composites.
Many seniors have to deal with dental challenges that our younger patients will hopefully not face as they age. Today’s youth will benefit from fluoridation, sealants and better overall dental hygiene. But we can still offer our older population great solutions to keep their smiles healthy and vibrant.
More than Just an Appearance Issue?
Missing teeth can lead to more serious consequences than an altered appearance or decrease in self-esteem. Prominent gaps in your mouth can cause issues such as:
- overclosing of the mouth (your face will look shorter)
- drifting of nearby teeth
- difficulty chewing
- altered speech
- bacteria pockets around the gums that increase risk of decay and gum disease
- jaw pain and headaches