No matter your age, good oral health plays a major role in your overall health and wellbeing. Taking care of your teeth affects everything from your nutrition, to your overall health, to even your confidence in social situations. However, maintaining dental health can be far more difficult as you age.
Between physical limitations and financial barriers, the risk of dental issues for seniors increases significantly. As a result, seniors suffer from tooth loss at a far higher rate than the general population. For minority Americans, smokers, and those with low income, the rate is even worse. Finding affordable dentures for seniors is vital for preserving the health and dignity of at-risk and underserved communities.
Reasons for Tooth Loss Among Seniors
According to the CDC, 13% of older adults between 65 and 74 have no remaining teeth. For adults 75 and older, this number jumps to 26%. These are deeply distressing statistics, all the more so because much of this tooth loss comes from untreated tooth and gum issues.
According to the same study from the CDC, 20% of seniors aged 65 or older suffer from untreated tooth decay, and 68% of adults in that same age range suffer from gum disease. Often, this leads to tooth loss. Additional causes for tooth decay include:
- Periodontal disease (bacterial infection)
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Genetic predisposition to gum disease
- Bruxism (tooth grinding)
- Physical trauma
- Crooked teeth leading to gum disease
- Smoking tobacco
These conditions can lead to infections and lost teeth. When left unaddressed due to time, mobility, or financial issues, these conditions can snowball into declining oral and overall physical health.
The Risks of Not Seeking Affordable Dentures for Seniors
Tooth loss has many direct and indirect issues on health and wellbeing. Many seniors may not believe addressing their tooth loss is worth the time or money involved. You might choose to avoid the dentist and ‘live with’ the condition instead. However, this can have painful and deeply damaging consequences for your health. Penn Dental Medicine makes dentures affordable and accessible, giving seniors the opportunity for a happier, healthier life.
Here are some of the potential consequences of forgoing treatment:
- Jaw or bite misalignment. When one or more teeth are missing, it can cause other teeth to move out of place due to the vacated space. This movement can lead to pain and discomfort in the mouth and jaw.
- Bone loss. The jaw bone is preserved by the pressure and stimulus of chewing and normal use. When the tooth is absent, the bone can soften and reabsorb into the body‒a process known as resorption.
- Nutritional issues. Missing several or all of your teeth can lead to difficulty chewing. This in turn can limit what foods you can eat. Proper nutrition is particularly important as you age, so the ability to properly masticate is vital to overall health.
- Speech impairment. Having a full set of teeth is necessary for speaking without whistling or an impediment. The inability to speak clearly can have devastating effects on an older adult’s confidence, and their capacity to effectively interact with the world.
- Facial sagging. A surprising amount of your facial structure is thanks to your teeth. Missing teeth can cause the cheeks to appear sunken and the face to sag. This deformation can further hurt the confidence of seniors, and may discourage them from seeking necessary care and assistance.
Penn Dental Medicine’s Options for Low-Cost Dentures for Seniors
If you’ve been wondering, “Where are affordable dentures near me?” PDM is the place to visit. Our teaching practice enables patients to receive the benefits of discounted prices, without sacrificing the best quality and safety in dental care and services. The PDM team will work with you to see if dental insurance covers your desired procedure, or if a dental payment plan is needed.
We can provide a variety of tooth-replacement services depending on your specific needs. These include:
- Complete Dentures. For individuals with no remaining natural teeth, this removable application is made to fit along both the top and bottom of the gum line, restoring your smile.
- Partial Dentures. When a patient still has healthy natural teeth with several missing, a prosthodontist may recommend a partial removable denture to maintain function and appearance, and prevent infection.
- Dental Implants. Some patients are better suited for permanent dentures, and we have the option to help. Individual dental implants, bridges, and full overdentures are all available procedures for our patients. These replacements function exactly like normal teeth, even maintaining the jaw bone.
Affordable Dentures for Seniors Give You the Smile You Deserve
No matter your age or your situation, you deserve dignity, health, and quality care to support you. That’s why PDM is ready to help, and provide you with the information you need to get the best dental treatment, at a price you can afford.
To learn more, download our FREE pamphlet, Dentures 101: Penn Dental Medicine’s Guide to Dentures.
If you’re ready to set up a prosthodontic consultation, contact us online today or call us at 215-898-8965.