Family dentists are equipped to care for the oral health needs of an entire family, regardless of the age of each family member. As a person ages, they may encounter new dental needs. Here are some of the dental applications that are often related to the age of an individual.
Dental implants are used to replace adult teeth. A baby tooth will eventually fall out, but it still has an underlying permanent replacement beneath the gingival tissues. As a result, even if a baby tooth is lost due to trauma or dental decay, the dentist will often recommend that the patient simply wait for the adult tooth to grow in its place.
When a permanent tooth is lost, there is no natural replacement. Thus, a dental implant may be prescribed.
An implant replaces the root of the lost tooth. Once the tissues around the device have sufficiently healed after the implant's placement, the implant can be fitted with an abutment and topped with a dental crown to complete the restoration.
Since implants are used to replace permanent teeth, adult patients are more apt to receive them. In addition to single-tooth replacements, the implants can also be used to support and stabilize devices that are used to replace multiple teeth simultaneously, such as dental bridges and dentures.
Dentures are often prescribed for older adults. As a person ages, they are more likely to develop periodontal disease. Since advanced gum disease can result in bone and tooth loss, a dental patient with periodontitis may lose all of their teeth as they grow older.
To ensure that the patient's quality of life and overall health does not suffer from tooth loss, the dentist may suggest dentures. A full denture is used to replace all of the teeth of the upper or lower palate. A partial denture is used when only some of the patient's teeth are missing.
The denture is designed from an impression of the patient's oral cavity to ensure that the device is comfortable and will not slip about. Even though denture adhesive can be used to help hold a denture in position, the suction created as the device rests flush against the soft tissues is often sufficient to stabilize it.
Still, if a denture is not as stable as the patient would like, the device can be attached to dental implants to help hold it firmly in place. Implant support is available for removable and permanent dentures.