The teeth, just like the rest of the body, are vulnerable to the effects of aging. As a result, seniors face many unique dental issues, including a higher risk of tooth loss and severe dental damage. Oral surgery can help treat the dental issues facing many seniors today, restoring both oral health and dental function
. Dr. Andrew R. Glenn specializes in oral surgery and senior's unique dental needs at his Lincoln, NE practice. To find out if oral surgery is right for you, we welcome you to contact our offices today.
Oral Surgery for Seniors
Oral surgery can help seniors enjoy restored oral health and improved dental function. Senior patients will need to undergo a dental examination and be healthy enough to undergo surgery before oral surgery can be considered. Some of the most common types of oral surgery seniors may require include:
Tooth Extraction: Severely damaged or decayed teeth that are not healthy enough to treat with dental fillings, porcelain crowns, or other restorative treatment often require extraction in order to restore oral health. Tooth extraction is the surgical removal of a tooth and may be performed using a local or general anesthetic.
Dental Implants: Seniors with one or more missing teeth may benefit from dental implant treatment. Dental implants are small, screw-like posts surgically placed within the jaw and used to anchor different types of dental restorations within the mouth. Dental crown restorations may be paired with dental implants to replace individual teeth, implant-supported bridges may be used to replace multiple teeth, or implant-supported dentures may used to replace a full upper or lower arch of teeth.
Bone Grafting: In order to place dental implants, a bone graft may need to be performed, especially for those who have experienced long term tooth loss. This is because the jawbone atrophies, or loses density, when teeth are lost. A bone graft can be used to rebuild the jawbone and allow for dental implant placement. Bone tissue may be taken from the patient's own body or a donor, or a synthetic material may be used.
Candidates for Oral Surgery
Each type of oral surgery carries its own risks and side effects. Accordingly, determining candidacy for any particular oral surgery requires a thorough dental examination and a full disclosure of medical history and medications. Senior candidates for oral surgery should be in good general health and free from any serious medical conditions, like heart problems and uncontrolled diabetes. In addition to being in good health, senior candidates for oral surgery include those who:
Have lost one or more teeth
Have severely damaged or decayed teeth that cannot be preserved
Have lost significant jawbone tissue as a result of prolonged tooth loss
Protecting Your Oral Health
Although oral surgery is sometimes necessary to restore oral health, preventing the need for intervention is always best. There are many ways senior patients can help protect their smile, even after oral surgery, such as:
Brushing a minimum of twice a day and flossing at least once a day
Scheduling regular dental exams and cleanings
Practicing good oral hygiene even if wearing dentures
Seeking treatment at the first signs of an oral health issue
Learn More about Your Treatment Options
For more information about your treatment options, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Glenn.
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