4 Tooth Replacement Options for Seniors

man smiling with missing teeth in black and white

4 Tooth Replacement Options for Seniors

Missing teeth can make it difficult and uncomfortable to perform normal, everyday activities like eating and drinking. Having a tooth missing can also make your other teeth shift or lead to jaw bone loss, so it’s best to replace the tooth as soon as possible. At Dr. Saba and Associates, we offer several tooth replacement options for seniors and adults in Sun Lakes, Arizona. Read on to learn what causes tooth loss and how to treat it. 

At What Age Do Adults Start Losing Teeth?

Because there are so many factors involved, tooth loss can happen at any age—there is no specific age when adults start losing teeth. According to the CDC, more than one in four adults in the U.S. have untreated tooth decay, and nearly half of all adults over the age of 30 suffer from gum disease. When left untreated, tooth decay and gum disease cause significant damage to the teeth and gums which can result in tooth loss. 

Although any adult with poor oral health can start losing their teeth, seniors are more likely to experience tooth loss. Seniors have a higher risk of medical conditions that affect the teeth, and are more likely to take medications that cause dry mouth, which increases their risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Around one in five adults aged 65 and older has lost all of their teeth, and about two in three adults of the same age have gum disease. 

Luckily, there are many ways for adults and seniors to replace a missing tooth. 

What Tooth Replacement Options Do Seniors Have?

1: Partial Dentures

Removable partial dentures are an affordable option for replacing multiple missing teeth. They are custom-made to comfortably fit the shape of your mouth, and colored to match your existing teeth for a more natural appearance. And, if you lose more teeth in the future, more false teeth can be added to the dentures, so there’s no need to invest in a whole new set. 

2: Full Dentures

Full dentures are a similar option to partial dentures, but they are for patients who are missing all of their upper and/or lower teeth. Keep in mind that both partial and full removable dentures require daily cleaning, and you must avoid eating hard and sticky foods to keep them in good condition. Removable dentures typically last up to five years, but failing to properly care for them will reduce their lifespan and can even cause mouth pain. 

3: Fixed Bridge

Dental bridges are a solution for one missing tooth or multiple missing teeth in a row. They are made up of false teeth that fill the gap and are fixed in place with crowns that cover the teeth on either side of the gap. You must have healthy teeth and gums surrounding the missing tooth gap to be eligible for a fixed bridge.

Dental bridges are more expensive, but longer-lasting and more permanent than removable dentures. With the proper care, this type of dental restoration can last up to ten years. You’ll need to brush the bridge with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day, just like your natural teeth. and floss underneath it daily to keep your gums healthy. 

4: Dental Implants

Dental implants are the only option that replaces the root of a missing tooth. The procedure for dental implants involves surgically implanting a metal post into the jaw, then later placing a crown on top of the post after the jaw has healed. While dental implants are more durable than bridges and dentures and can last a lifetime, they can cost thousands of dollars per implant. 

Replacing Missing Teeth in Sun Lakes, Arizona

If you’re looking to restore your smile, Drs. Saba and Romanin in Sun Lakes can help you determine which option is right for you. We offer partial and full dentures as well as dental bridges for tooth replacement, and can refer you to an experienced oral surgeon for dental implants if necessary. We also offer a wide range of preventative services to keep your mouth healthy and prevent further tooth loss. Call 480-895-2111 today to schedule an appointment.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (9/12/2022). Photo by Mathias Konrath on Unsplash