Dental Facts 40-60 Years Old

Around the age of 40, the calcium content in the saliva increases and causes plaque to harden into tarter more rapidly.  When this happens, it is important to have professional cleanings and special periodontal cleaningsdone every 3 to 4 months.  These special cleanings will prevent the germs in the tarter from damaging the teeth and gums during the 4th, 5th and 6th months of build-up.

Many patients benefit from bleaching their teeth at this time in order to help brighten their smiles.

At this point in life, it becomes more apparent how decades of chewing and grinding can cause teeth to weaken, wear down and break.  I urge my patients to start using a bite guard in their 20’s in order to mitigate the damage caused by night time grinding (bruxism).  If a patient plays sports, I highly recommend they use a mouth guard in order to minimize the damage from sports injury.

After decades of stress, it is common to replace old fillings with crowns in order to address the structural problems caused by normal wear and tear.

At this stage in life, many patients become dissatisfied with the accumulation problems, such as staining, tooth movement, wear and mismatched dental restorations.   At this point, it may be time to consider a make-over, or what has traditionally been known as a reconstruction.   The results of a properly done reconstruction can carry you through the rest of your life with strong, healthy teeth and a beautiful smile.

If you lose a tooth, you will have to decide how to replace it.  There are some circumstances in which replacement of a lost tooth in not necessary.  However, tooth replacement is usually necessary to close the space, stabilize the arch, prevent undesirable tooth movement, and restore function.  While, bridges have been the traditional approach in the past, the “A” plan today is always an implant supported crown.  The advantages are numerous, the up-front costs are the same and the long term costs are cheaper.  If several teeth are missing, a removable prosthesis can be an excellent solution or we can use implants to retain and support prosthesis for added comfort and security.

As you approach retirement, consult with a dentist to see how to maximize your last few years of dental insurance in order to minimize you dental expenses in retirement.  Remember, Medicare does not cover dentistry!

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