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  • Alex Huszti

Are You Dentally Prepared for Older Age? | BelleDental


Belle Dental

It’s always been a reasonably common circumstance… I see patients preparing for retirement who want to ensure their dental health is sorted. It is not only a reasonable action, considering what we know about dental health, but taking the correct actions around this process can not only result in durable, adaptable dentistry, it should also be relatively straightforward.

 

So what to look out for?

The answer is “keep it simple”. In recent studies of dental health in the elderly, some of the most common problematic dental health issues in the elderly involved complex treatments such as implants. When complex dentistry fails, it is difficult to unwind or stabilise. Often complex surgically. Expensive… and sometimes recovery may lead to even more complex remedies. Hardly a desirable circumstance when you’re elderly.


I know I bang on about this all the time: HAVE A PLAN!

Many patients approaching retirement believe that if they complete an overhaul of their dentistry, they’re done…for life (literally).


This may not necessarily be the case. Sometimes, we can identify weaknesses in people’s dental health that can be fortified in the medium term, relatively cost-effectively, with planned “fallback positions” set along the way. These fallback positions can extend the lifespan of a patient’s teeth without becoming unnecessarily aggressive just because retirement is looming.


Don’t underestimate the humble filling. You’ve probably got decades-old fillings in your mouth. I love fillings as a restorative solution. They are generally the most cost-effective solution; they can be conservative, durable, cosmetically pleasing, and, most importantly, repairable.


We live in an age of throw-away. You can’t have a throwaway mindset in old age… you’ll fall apart too quickly! The ability to “patch” a filling and get you through the next five, seven or even 12 years is what may see you out with teeth.


In part 2 of this series, I’ll discuss the number one factor in dental decay in the elderly and the maintenance of dentistry and dental health. Stay tuned!

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