The teeth are not immune to the aging process. By the time we reach our senior years, many of us require some form of dental work. Fortunately, restorative dentistry treatments can repair years of damage, rejuvenating the smile and improving dental function. Dr. Ettienne van Zyl offers a wide range of treatments to meet the unique dental care needs of seniors. Schedule a consultation at Dr. van Zyl's Memphis, TN practice to find out which treatments are right for you. Until then, learn more about popular treatments for senior patients and dental care tips in this overview.
Popular Dental Treatments for Seniors
Seniors have unique needs when it comes to dental care. Even with proper oral hygiene, senior patients may develop dental damage as a result of general wear and tear while others may simply wish to rejuvenate the appearance of their smile. For some patients, years of neglect can manifest as major oral health issues in the senior years. Fortunately, there are many treatments available to address the needs of every senior patient, such as:
- Gum disease treatment: Gum disease is a major oral health issue that is common among senior patients. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth decay or even tooth loss. Treating gum disease is often the first step in restoring oral health for senior patients. Treatment for gum disease depends on the severity of the disease. Mild gum disease may be treated with antibiotics, while moderate gum disease may be treated with root planing and scaling. In severe cases, gum surgery may be required.
- Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers are thin, tooth-shaped restorations that fit over the front surface of the front facing teeth. They are used to mask imperfections and improve the overall appearance of the smile. Senior patients with mild chips, gaps between teeth, severe discoloration, or other dental flaws may benefit from porcelain veneer treatment.
- Dental crowns: Dental crowns are a great treatment option for senior patients with broken or otherwise damaged teeth. Dental crowns are custom-made tooth-shaped restorations that completely encase a damaged tooth. Dental crowns can save broken teeth from requiring extraction, restoring their appearance and function. Dental crowns may also be placed to restore the strength of teeth weakened by large fillings.
- Teeth whitening: Yellowed, discolored teeth are common among senior patients. Professional teeth whitening can quickly and safely lift years of staining to reveal a more vibrant, youthful smile. Teeth whitening may be combined with other dental treatments to completely rejuvenate the smile.
- Dental implants: Dental implants provide permanent, secure replacement of missing teeth, making them a popular treatment for senior patients. Dental implants are small, screw-like posts, which are surgically placed within the jaw. As the jaw heals around the implant, a permanent bond is formed, much like the bond between the jaw and a natural tooth root. Dental implants may be paired with dental crowns to replace individual teeth, implant-supported bridges to replace multiple teeth, or implant-supported dentures to replace a full arch of teeth.
Maintain a Healthy Smile with Proper Dental Care
Practicing proper dental care can help keep your smile healthy in your senior years. Brush for two minutes twice a day and floss at least once everyday to reduce the risk of tooth decay. In addition to practicing good oral hygiene habits at home, it's important to see your dentist for regular exams and cleanings to keep your teeth free of plaque and tartar and to catch any oral health issues before they become severe.
Restore Your Smile
Enjoy a restored smile with treatment from Dr. van Zyl. To receive your personalized treatment plan, we invite you to contact our office today.