- Written by Michael Tischler, DDS Michael Tischler, DDS
Baby boomers ages 50-75 should be assessing their dental health with their dentist as they head toward their later years in life.
As people age, so do their dental restorations. Crowns, bridges, and fillings have a finite lifespan, and baby boomers should have a dental professional examine their teeth regularly to determine the best course forward.
This assessment at this point in life is called the “dental turning point for baby boomers.”
As people age, they are often on medications that help keep them healthy. What most people don’t realize is that a side effect of many medications is dry mouth.
Saliva has a protective effect on teeth, so when a person has a dry mouth, there can be an increase in tooth decay and around dental restorations. This is an important consideration for a patient who is looking at redoing older dental work.
Dental implants can replace a person’s missing tooth or teeth. Because of the high success rate of dental implants, it sometimes makes sense to replace teeth likely to decay with dental implants, which will not decay from dry mouth.
Having a healthy mouth and teeth is important for every age, not only baby boomers. Teeth, of course, help a person chew food and obtain nutrition, so when teeth are missing, the ability to chew food is diminished — this can affect a person’s digestive system and overall health.
Teeth also affect a person’s self-esteem. When someone feels good about their smile, they feel more confident. This confidence positively translates to many social and business situations.
Cosmetic dental procedures can dramatically improve a person’s life by creating brighter and more attractive smiles. Crowns, bridges, implants, and veneers are just some of the cosmetic dental procedures that can be performed.
Many baby boomers are on a fixed income, so the financial cost of dental treatment needs to be considered. Medicare has limited dental coverage, and dental insurance only covers partial payment on most dental procedures.
This is unfortunate, as dental health is intricately related to a person’s overall health. Besides the issues of nutrition and self-esteem, infection and periodontal disease have been directly related to heart health and other systemic conditions.
A dental professional should make an assessment of a baby boomer’s gum health as part of an overall dental-health examination.
Baby boomers are at an important time in life with respect to their dental health. As baby boomers head into their later years, a dental professional’s examination should be done to help make oral-care decisions for the patient’s future.
As an internationally recognized leader in the dental implant field, Dr. Michael Tischler developed the Teeth Tomorrow franchise network to bring a new technology to dental patients throughout the U.S. http://teethtomorrow.com