Believe it or not, almost one-fourth of the over-65 population has lost all of its teeth. Given the recent phenomenon of healthier, longer lives for seniors, these stats can seem rather high. But compared to the 1930’s, it’s more than a 100% improvement. The rates are still decreasing, but just as times have changed, so has the palette of choices available to those who do end up losing their teeth.
For our parents and grandparents, the go-to replacement for lost choppers was dentures. They were considered to be a generally convenient and effective tool that, when well-fitted and cleaned properly, could raise the quality of life for someone whose mouth had succumbed to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Back in the day, dental implants were being performed, but they were quite expensive. They also might not last beyond a decade or so. But that has changed.
Dental implants offer an alternative to some of the problems associated with wearing full or partial dentures. For instance, because a full denture covers the mouth roof and gums, the sense of taste is diminished by up to 1/3 when they are being worn. Also, bone density continues to decrease over time with denture wear.
On the other hand, a dental implant involves one or more screws that are planted into the jawbone. Artificial teeth are then snapped onto the screws. Meanwhile, the bone heals around the screws, leading to lessened bone loss.
Sounds promising, right? Well, what if your 90-year-old mom develops a need for manufactured pearly whites? Would an implant still be a good idea? Dentists maintain that, while there may be mild discomfort for 3-5 days, the healing time for seniors is just the same as it is for those in their forties. In other words, there is no such thing as “too old” when it comes to getting an implant.
One can even choose between a removable overdenture implant, and a fixed prosthesis. If your favorite senior becomes a candidate for dentures or implants, speak with their dentist and learn everything you can in order to weigh their treatment options. You may find a dental implant to be the right idea.
There is so much to think about when entering the later stages of life. If you are considering elder care options, we at 805Aging can help. Our professional staff specializes in assisting you to choose the right kind of care for your loved one.
We conduct regular check-ins when you are unable to do so. 805Aging also provides oversight and detailed feedback to the family to keep your loved one safe and well-cared for day or night, weekday or weekend, holiday and every day.
We have the resources. We can hold your hand. We can guide you. Your peace of mind is our main goal, and is well assured. To find out more, call us at 805-750-4755 or visit our website and sign up for our monthly newsletter: www.805Aging.com.
There is no manual on how to take care of your parents as they age. They had a baby book when you were young. You have us. -Amy