When you’re in your 20s or 30s, the idea of getting older and needing dentures to replace missing teeth probably doesn’t seem all that likely. But the fact is that the older you get, the more likely it is that you will lose some of your natural teeth. In fact, by the age of 65, nearly half of all adults will have lost at least one natural tooth. Fortunately, several different treatments can keep your remaining teeth healthy for as long as possible. Below we look at 4 common dental treatments you may expect when getting older.
Dental implants are a popular treatment choice for missing teeth because they are durable and long-lasting. An implant is a small metal post placed in the jawbone where one of your teeth used to be. Once your jaw has healed around the implant, a false tooth or bridge can be attached to replace the lost one. The great thing about implants is that they are almost entirely natural-looking and help prevent other teeth from becoming loose or falling out due to the missing tooth. Because they are so durable, implants are an excellent option for people who are likely to be dealing with many more years of wear and tear.
Complete dentures are a standard treatment for older people who have lost their teeth. These are a pair of false teeth that are usually placed in your lower jaw. They are designed to look and feel as natural as possible and are often made of a plastic-like material called acrylic. While full dentures can be a good treatment option for many people, some will benefit more from other treatments. For example, people with loose, damaged teeth or gum disease. You may also benefit from a fixed denture if you don’t have enough bone to support the teeth. Full dentures are removable, which means they can be taken out when you eat. This can be a problem for people with loose or damaged teeth, as false teeth can be challenging to clean. Full dentures are often also more expensive than fixed dentures.
A fixed bridge is usually placed where one or more teeth are removed. The remaining teeth will be reshaped to make room for the bridge. The bridge is fixed to the teeth on either side of the gap, and false teeth are attached to the bridge to fill the void. The false teeth used in a fixed bridge will be as natural-looking as possible, but they may need to fit better than other treatments. Fixed bridges are an excellent option for older people since they can be set in place and last as long as the rest of your teeth. But they can also be more expensive than a removable denture.
Dental crowns are caps placed over a tooth to strengthen it and cover any damage. Crowns are usually used to treat a tooth that is severely damaged or decayed. They can be an excellent option for older people since they sit on top of the tooth and don’t require any reshaping of the surrounding teeth. A dental crown is usually placed on a tooth after removing a large amount of decay. This can be a good option for older people who don’t want to have all of their teeth extracted. However, a crown is less durable than a dental implant and will need to be replaced as the tooth wears down over time.
As you age, your teeth will likely become less sturdy and more susceptible to damage. This can lead to the need for dental treatments such as dental implants, bridges, crowns, and complete dentures. The best way to avoid getting these treatments is by looking after your teeth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly, and visit your dentist for routine checkups.