UNIQUE DENTAL CARE FOR ALL AGES
At 32Bites Dental Clinic, we specialize in geriatric dentistry in Bhiwadi. Our 40% of referral patients are above 55 years pls. 32 Bites Dental Clinic provides dental care for the elderly, ensuring they get the care they need to maintain or achieve excellent oral health. Dr. Takkar works hard to ensure that patients of all ages get quality dental care and that it never goes neglected as they age.
WHAT IS GERIATRIC DENTISTRY?
Geriatric dentistry focuses on the oral health of elderly patients. Our Clinic specializes in understanding the unique needs and challenges that older adults may face concerning their oral health, and he works to create appropriate treatment plans. This includes routine check-ups and cleanings to more complex procedures such as extractions, root canals, and dentures. We also consider their medical history and current medications, ensuring they won’t affect any treatments needed.
OUR APPROACH TO GERIATRIC DENTISTRY
Older patients react differently to dental procedures, and we take a very delicate and measured nature in our dental procedures.
We know how to handle and work with patients who have increased sensitivity to medications used in dentistry. Also being highly adept in this field, we’re able to work closely with our patients and caregivers to work in tandem with any other treatments our patients are going through. We also understand different gum and root issues that can arise just by a matter of age. We’ve got the best procedures to address these issues, whether we need to do gum treatment, dental implants, dentures, or other restorative procedures.
Geriatric Dental Care
Geriatric dentistry (dentistry for seniors), has dramatically increased since the 1900s. It is estimated that approximately 20% of the population is over the age of 65 currently. With the increase of the senior population and with better education and concern by this age group for their overall medical and dental health, seniors are retaining more of their teeth. Studies show that approximately 50% of people 55 years or older have at least 23 of their 32 natural teeth remaining.
Certain conditions can occur in seniors that would not normally be found in younger individuals and that can affect the health of their teeth, as well as their overall physical well being. The following conditions that may be of concern and which should be evaluated by a dentist are:
Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
A condition common to the elderly whereby saliva flow is decreased. The causes can include certain medical conditions, and certain medications such as antihistamines, pain relievers and decongestants, among others. Other causes can be ill-fitting dental appliances such as full or partial dentures.
If a person allows this continued dry mouth condition to persist, there is an increase in the level of dental decay due to the increased level of bacterial colonies and plaque accumulations. The reason for this is that saliva has a natural bathing effect on teeth that helps decrease the level of bacteria from forming.
There is also a greater risk for periodontal disease due to the decreased level of saliva. Patients are urged to see their dentist and/or physician to evaluate this condition. Certain products are available that can help correct this condition such as artificial saliva replacement drops, oral rinses such as Biotene mouthrinse and Oral Balance a moisturizing oral rinse. Sugarless lemon drops have also been found to be an excellent saliva stimulant that can help increase saliva flow.
Tooth Wear and Excessive Staining
With the increased wear of teeth over the years, many seniors may notice an unaesthetic appearance. Teeth can become unsightly and can make one appear older than they really are. Teeth can also stain, especially since these areas of enamel wear are excellent places for debris and plaque to accumulate and stain over the years. Also, as the protective enamel wear occurs, the yellowish dentin is more apparent causing teeth to appear darker.
Hypersensitivity of teeth is also common causing unnecessary discomfort in patients.
Dental Decay (Root Surface)
As one ages, the incidence for decay can increase, especially root surface decay. The exposure of the tooth’s root surface occurs in seniors primarily from gum tissue receding as one ages. Root surfaces do not have a protective enamel layer and are primarily composed of softer cementum, which easily decays. Plaque and bacterial accumulation can collect on these surfaces increasing the risk for this type of decay. Since the root surface lacks enamel, decay can more easily penetrate the tooth’s pulp (nerve), which can cause endodontic (root canal) problems and in worst scenarios, tooth loss. Older fillings may also wear and fracture as one ages causing weakening or loss of teeth.
Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
The most common cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease. Bacteria create toxins which inflame and irritate gum tissue. Over the years, a slow progressive detachment occurs that affects the supporting bone, which dissolves. Tooth loss eventually results, especially if left untreated. The elderly are more prone to this condition as a result of smoking, poor diets, poor oral hygiene habits and certain medical conditions. It is imperative that one have regular dental checkups to determine if they have this condition.
Loss or Alteration in Taste
Many seniors experience the loss of their taste sensation as they age. This can occur as a normal result of aging. However, certain diseases andmedications can increase the incidence of taste loss. Ill fitting dentures or other removable dental appliances can increase the alteration of taste.
Patients should always notify their dentist and/or physician if they have any type of alteration or loss in their taste sensation. Many new and exciting treatment alternatives have been developed in dentistry over the years that can help seniors restore their teeth to a much more functional, healthy and youthful look.