Ask The Warrior Dentist - Dental Care For SeniorsAsk The Warrior Dentist - Dental Care For Seniors

As long as we have teeth - even if they might be replacement teeth - we will require expert and regular dental care. That's why dental care for seniors is such a significant and vibrant area of the overall field of dentistry. These days the senior population is the fastest growing demographic in America and the dental profession has responded to that historical rise in the number of seniors in the population by offering more services and procedures for older patients.

Today there are many more geriatric specialists within the dental industry, for example, a phenomenon that has happened in reaction to the fact that many seniors - and the parents of those younger seniors - are now wanting and needing age-specific dental care or will need it in the years to come. Along with a rise in the number of dentists who are specially trained to work with the health concerns of older patients there has also been an astonishing change in terms of dental treatments and technologies. Now the procedures your dentist does are more effective, they take less time to complete, they cause less discomfort, and they typically cost much less over time because they are so superior to the old-fashioned methods of the past.

If you need a crown placed on a damaged, cracked, or decayed tooth, for instance it can often be done within one single visit to the dentist. It used to take weeks, because it took a long time to develop x-rays, days or weeks to sculpt a new artificial tooth by hand, and then additional appointments in the dentist chair to complete each step in the long process. Now you can get better and more vivid x-rays done in a matter of minutes, they can be evaluated right away, and if you need to have a replacement tooth or crown made many dentists can accomplish that within 2-3 hours right there inside their own office. They use robots, computers, lasers, and other futuristic tools to ensure your comfort and convenience while enhancing your dental health.

Seniors have issues that are specific to their age group, too, like old amalgam fillings that need to be removed and replaced to avoid serious problems like cracked teeth or mercury poisoning. As we age the gums tend to recede, which can lead to an increased risk of periodontal disease. A loss of bone density can mean diminished tooth enamel strength, and thinning of the tooth enamel can mean more care must be taken when polishing the teeth to remove stains and protect from harmful bacteria. Poor oral hygiene can even lead to cardiac problems, so that is yet another concern of older dental patients.

But regardless of the issue, there are wonderful remedies and preventive measures that can be employed to ensure that no matter how old you are, your teeth and smile can remain youthful. Ask your dentist about the kinds of oral health concerns that most seniors share, and he or she can explain to you all the various different approaches to enhancing your dental health and keeping your gums and teeth vibrant and healthy for years to come.
by Dr. Susan Wells
References and Bibliography
Dr. Susan Wells DMD has been a warrior dentist practicing dentistry in Warrior, Alabama since 1978.  She treats patients for all aspects of general dentistry including preventive dental care oral hygiene instruction and full scale exams and cleanings. To find out more visit her site at
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