Affordable Dental Care for Seniors: Untimely Problems
Entering your golden years can be a time of both relaxation and rejuvenation, and might in fact be some of the greatest years of your life! The term “golden years” refers to the time period between 65 to your eighties and beyond; when you are officially considered a senior citizen. It is during this time that many people choose to settle down and enjoy the fruits of their life’s achievements. However those precious moments spent with family, friends, or a significant other can be interrupted by an unfortunate situation that haunts many seniors, deteriorating teeth. Damaged or decayed teeth are not only unsightly and painful; they can also be costly and is the main reason that GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for seniors.
Affordable Dental Care for Seniors: Prevention is Key
It’s important to remember that when you age, your teeth age and change right along with you. Like anything, time can certainly take its toll and prevention is so important. As your teeth become older and increasingly worn, it is imperative that they receive some additional care. Offering affordable dental care for seniors is important to us because we want to keep our patients’ teeth strong and healthy and prevent some of their oral health concerns that many seniors are particularly susceptible to.
Some of these issues may include:
- root decay
- gum disease
- tooth loss
- oral cancer, particularly among smokers
Rooth Decay: Our older patients are at risk for root decay. What is root decay? Root decay is a cavity that forms on the roots of your teeth. Our senior patients are at a higher risk, because their roots are exposed due to receding, especially if they suffer from gum disease. Root decay can also be caused by brushing incorrectly or with a toothbrush that is too hard. Age-related gum changes can also be an impact.
Gum Disease: Did you know that half of Americans over the age of 55 have some form of gum disease? Gum disease is caused by bacteria in the tarter and plaque on your teeth. Teeth can become loose and eventually result in tooth loss. If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth or you have red or swollen gums, you need to visit Dr. Gary Skrobanek, DDS at GPS Dental, as these are signs of gum disease. Another sign to schedule your dental appointment is if you notice that your teeth are looking longer or if they are loose. It is possible to stop gum disease with early detection. Otherwise, you may develop gingivitis or periodontitis, two common forms of gum disease that both require daily care and professional cleanings. However, left untreated gum disease can also cause physical ailments, such as heart disease.
Related Article: Show Your Teeth Some Love: Gum Disease and Your Heart
Tooth Loss: Older adults keep their natural teeth longer than in years past. Now, there is less need for false teeth, also referred to as complete or partial dentures. However, with seniors keeping their natural teeth longer, the risk for tooth decay and gum disease is on the rise. Many times medications can cause dryness in the mouth which allows decay to continue. Believe it or not, saliva (or spit) actually helps protect teeth from cavities.
These are just a few of the most common oral diseases that affect our senior patients. If these issues are not prevented or treated, they can result in more pain, loose and or broken teeth. As you can imagine, these issues have proven problematic in maintaining their quality of life, as they may cause an unbearable amount of pain and make chewing and eating a difficult if not an impossible task. These issues can impact their confidence and self-esteem.
Oral Cancer: Oral cancer is another disease and appears as a sore or growth in the mouth that does not go away. According to the American Cancer Society, men face twice the risk of developing oral cancer as women and men who are over the age of 50 face the greatest risk. Oral cancer can be life threatening; however, the expert hygiene team at GPS Dental includes an oral screening during each dental exam.
Related Article: Oral Cancer Screening: You Need to Know
Affordable Dental Care for Seniors: You’re Money and You’re Teeth
Another and perhaps even more alarming issue brought about by seniors facing dental problems is the financial aspect. It’s no secret that certain dental procedures can cost more than others since the price for multiple treatments, would be considerably higher. This often times makes finding affordable dental care for seniors a challenge. Unfortunately this is typically the case for our senior patients, as often their dental problems are gradual problems that have grown significantly worse over time. This highlights the importance of routinely practicing proper dental care before these problems get out of hand.
Affordable Dental Care for Seniors: Fear not!
Although these oral concerns may seem daunting, it is important to us to offer affordable dental care to seniors. Rest assured there are numerous resources available to you that may not only help get you out of pain, but may help keep your finances secure as well. At GPS Dental, Michelle, helps our patients figure out how to maximize their dental insurance benefits and explore options to schedule payment arrangements. For patients needing payment plans, GPS Dental can assist in applying for Care Credit which currently offers 6 month and 12 month deferred interest plans (with a minimum charge amount) and 24 and 48 month extended payment plans with a reduced interest charge. You can apply in our office or apply online.
Affordable Dental Care for Seniors: You DESERVE to be Happy
Remember your happiness is important to us, and in a time when you should be embracing life and living it to the fullest, there is no need to be pestered by the occurrence of dental problems. If you have questions or concerns about your oral health, please call us at GPS Dental to schedule your appointment. We look forward to offering you affordable dental care for seniors.