Oral health is a highly personalized concept of awareness. People’s culture and socioeconomic status may affect the way they maintain good oral health. Keeping a healthy oral profile is a joint effort from the patient and the dentist. As reported by  WHO, oral health is essential in determining a person’s overall well-being and quality of life. 

Research found in the European Journal of Dentistry stated that most individuals ignored their impending dental issues. These dental problems eventually multiplied and affected their overall well-being. Failure to realize this had resulted in millions of people suffering intractable toothache, with them ending up with few teeth. Through cosmetic dentistry, smiles can be ensured. 

A study from Contemporary Clinical Dentistry cited that even individuals living in cities fell prey to dental problems despite having access to dental care. These dental issues occurred because of people’s unhealthy dietary habits and lifestyles. 

Senior Smiles | Dentist
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State Of Oral Health In The Elderly  

Research from the Community Dental Health showed that the elderly’s oral health indicated profound imbalances among countries and regions. 

The disparity may be attributable to differences in socioeconomic condition and the availability and accessibility of oral health services.  The study also found that dental caries and periodontal disease were considered public health problems in most countries. 

Ways To Help Seniors Improve Their Confidence and Overall Health

Maintaining oral health may be difficult, especially in old age. However, oral health is not separate from general health. Even with proper home care, seniors may still experience dental issues as time passes. Therefore, regular checkup is necessary. The dentist may offer different options for dental care that may help improve not just the elderly’s confidence but also their overall well-being. 

Cosmetic Bonding

Most people’s teeth may become yellowish over time. For others, their teeth may become chipped. Therefore, a cosmetic dentist may need to apply a composite material over patients’ teeth to improve their appearance. 

Senior Smiles | Dentist
Photo by Askar Abayev from Pexels

The dentist may use composite materials to fill in imperfections in ones’ teeth. The doctor may also use these composites for some minor shaping.  In a cosmetic bonding procedure, the dentist will lightly etch the tooth’s enamel and then cover it with an adhesive that is cured with ultraviolet light.

They will then put a soft composite resin and mold it into the desired shape of the patient. The dentist will polish the new material to blend with the existing color of the tooth. Cosmetic bonding is painless, so it doesn’t require anesthesia most of the time. In addition, seniors will get immediate results. However, this procedure only lasts for a limited time.

Porcelain Veneers 

Porcelain veneers or laminates may also be a viable option for seniors wanting to improve their smiles. Veneers are made more durable than composites so that they may last longer. When finished, they can function like natural teeth.    

Porcelain Veneers Can Correct Numerous Imperfections, Including:

  • Changing the color and shape of teeth
  • Making crooked teeth appear straight
  • Correcting gaps and spaces between teeth
  • Making the arch wider to create a fuller smile

Porcelain Onlays and Inlays

Porcelain fillings are natural-looking and durable restorations available today. Onlays and inlays are aesthetic alternatives to amalgam and composite fillings. These filings are robust and thus excellent for restoring weakened back teeth. In addition, they protect huge portions of decayed, heavily restored teeth.  

Dental Bridge 

When seniors have individual teeth missing, they may consider a few options to fill in the unwanted space.  A dental bridge is used when an individual has two healthy teeth next to the missing tooth space. The dentist will fit those healthy teeth with crowns.  Then the dentist will create a pontic (false tooth) for the missing tooth area. A pontic looks like a natural tooth attached to the crowns placed on the teeth.     

Dental Implants  

Another option for seniors with a missing tooth is a dental implant. An implant is a titanium screw set in one’s jaw. The jaw bone will form around the screw and bond to it. Once done, the dentist will place a crown over the implant that looks and functions like natural teeth. 

The advantage of this particular procedure is that the dentist will not need to touch the natural teeth next to the implant. A dental implant is particularly beneficial if the patient wants to preserve their natural tooth structure. Since the implant merges with the jawbone, it will not slip, make noise, or cause bone damage like traditional dentures or fixed bridgework. Moreover, the materials can’t decay, unlike regular dentures.         

Senior smiles | Dentist
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Orthodontics 

Not all seniors may consider this option. However, orthodontic treatment is a great way to straighten teeth and improve their appearance.

Braces can also be helpful for the long-term health of ones’ teeth, gums, and jaw points. These dental devices spread the biting pressure all over the teeth. 

The Importance Of Communication  

The result of the different dental procedures depends on how well patients communicate with their dentist. Therefore, it’s essential for seniors to feel safe and at ease around their doctor. In addition, they have to be open with their dentist. They must ask questions and inform their doctor about their goals. This way, they can enjoy the maximum benefits of their chosen dental procedure. 

Conclusion 

A person’s teeth may last a lifetime with regular dental checkups and proper home care. For older adults, however, maintaining oral health may be particularly difficult. Even if they brush and floss regularly, these older people may still face issues regarding oral health. Luckily, skilled and knowledgeable dentists can help meet most of these challenges successfully.  

Senior Smiles
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Stan Clark

Stanley Clark is a community development volunteer and writer. He worked on several commercials, events, and campaigns before writing full-time on natural health and wellness.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

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