Restorative Dentistry for Seniors
Dental technological advancements and new product launches in the field of reconstructive dentistry benefit seniors facing oral issues.
Oral health is vital to Americans of all ages’ general health and well-being. Your mouth actually reflects your overall health and well-being by the time you reach your golden years. Aging teeth are often the reason for a smile makeover.
In our Montgomery Dental Care Woodbury, MN practice, we see the risk of chronic conditions increase with age. Oral diseases can trigger or indicate aspects of general health and other health conditions. Likewise, if a senior person develops diabetes, a heart condition, or other medical conditions, it may have an impact on oral health.
Oral Disease Among Older Adults
Oral and other diseases also have common risk factors. This is why, as your teeth and gums age, your dentist may suggest more frequent oral examinations. It’s a dentist’s role to evaluate the possible interplay of other diseases with oral disease. The combination is known to have an impact on the overall health of older adults.
” According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, over 40% of noninstitutionalized adults aged 65 years or older assessed their health as excellent or very good (compared to 55% for persons aged 45 to 64 years). Most older persons have at least one chronic condition, and many have multiple conditions.” American Dental Association: Aging and Dental Health
The CDC has published facts about older adult oral health that show the increasing need to treat this oral disease. It quotes the US Census prediction that by 2060, the number of US adults aged 65 years or older will likely reach 98 million. This projector will mean that 24% of the overall population will be seniors. 
How does a dentist restore your younger smile?
With the help of cosmetic and restorative dentistry, your smile can be restored, and you can look younger. We believe that the most important thing is improving the overall health of your teeth and gums. But how you look and how you feel about yourself is very important, too.
Restorative dentistry is an ideal option for people who are seeking to manage the effects of aging. Even for seniors, the following dental services can help bring your beautiful smile back.
What are Common Dental Restorative Procedures Among Seniors?
The most frequently recommended oral restoration procedures for seniors include:
- Replacing deterioratin tooth fillings.
- Dental crowns and bridges.
- Root canals for a tooth’s root that can no longer be saved.
- Affordable dentures.
- Dental implants to restore a tooth’s stability or health.
- Receding gum treatment.
- Porcelain veneers.
- Cosmetic bonding.
- Orthodontics or Invisalign to straighten crooked teeth.
Depending on each senior’s unique needs, they may benefit from one or a combination of the above dental treatments. It is best to start young to maintain good dental health into your later years. Otherwise, you may join the many seniors who need a dentist for a periodontal cosmetic procedure
Seniors who embrace restorative dentistry may gain:
- Improvements to the color and shape of their teeth.
- Straighter teeth due to correcting crowding or crooked teeth (a person’s jaw often shrinks with age, and “crowded teeth” may become an issue).
- Filled gaps and spaces between teeth (often missing teeth).
- A fuller, more enjoyable smile appearance.
- More natural-looking and long-lasting teeth restorations.
- Restored weakened or darkened teeth for a whiter smile.
- Additional protection from future decayed and bigger dental bills.
Seniors Struggling with Tooth loss
Why is maintaining and keeping your natural teeth as you age important?
Your teeth play a significant role in how you talk, what you can eat, how your smile appears to others, and your quality of life. Studies confirm that complete tooth loss is associated with a person’s poor nutrition, decreased self-esteem, and social isolation. Restoring your smile in your golden years can also make you feel more comfortable engaging in conversations, dining out, and taking pictures.
Too many seniors ignore their impending dental issues. Even if you are tired more often and life has you slowing down, ignoring dental issues only multiplies the problem and may affect your overall well-being. We urge you not to let it go. You may reach a point where you have an intractable toothache and have no option left but to have a tooth pulled.
What risk factors accompany tooth loss?
Significant risk factors for tooth loss in aging adults:
- Untreated tooth decay.
- Gum disease.
- Xerostomia, known as “dry mouth” due to Salivary gland dysfunction. This is often caused by the increased reliance on prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Lower saliva flow increases the risk of cavities.
- Being a tobacco user.
- Consuming foods and beverages that have excess sugar.
- Poor oral hygiene and skipping routine dental cleanings.
- Previous tooth loss.
- Hidden dental caries.
- Gingival recession.
- Plaque on a tooth’s root surface.
Your dental clinician should be highly alert to the above predisposing factors.  Early identification of seniors prone to root caries leads to effective prevention and management. Also, examination of teeth includes any tending to become mobile or are no longer well supported. This may negatively affect mastication efficiency and lead to discomfort during chewing.
What percentage of people 65 and older have no teeth?
Over a tenth of all seniors living in Minnesota lose all their teeth to decay or disease. So, you can see, this is a significant percentage. Once you turn fifty, it is important to take your oral health more seriously than ever.
“Among all Minnesota older adults aged 65 and older: 62.2 percent have had at least one natural tooth removed due to tooth decay or gum disease. 10.3 percent have had all of their natural teeth removed due to tooth decay or gum disease. – Oral Health of Older Adults in Minnesota: Dental services, Sep 11, 2023,
With the burgeoning retiring population, dentistry for seniors is taking more focus at the national level. Statistics show that more older Americans face tooth loss. According to Harvard News, “Loss of teeth can have a number of negative downstream effects. It’s associated with many geriatric conditions, including frailty and cognitive function.”
“The American Dental Association confirmed the bidirectional relationship between diet and nutrition and oral health. The literature shows that diet and nutrition are related to oral diseases, including dental caries, periodontal diseases, tooth wear, and even oral cancer. Insufficient nutritional intake and poor dietary habits increase the risk of oral diseases, such as dental caries, in older adults. On the other hand, in older adults, poor oral conditions such as periodontal disease may induce pain, infection, and tooth loss, affecting nutritional intake.” – NIH: Diet, Nutrition, and Oral Health in Older Adults
Dental Care for Older Adults in Woodbury, MN
We first like to meet new patients for a thorough consultation. Treatment options for restoring the elderly smile vary. Successful dentistry for seniors involves a personalized cosmetic dental plan and a strong partnership with your dentist. We want to understand your pain level, diet, and overall health, evaluate the wear on your teeth over the years, as well as whatever may impact your oral health.
Older teeth become more brittle. In turn, this means they are more prone to fracture and wear.
A study in The Journal of Periodontology released study findings in 2021 that dental issues can even damage your heart. It reports that people experiencing gum inflammation are more at risk of having inflammation in their arteries. This can increase vascular disease risk. “Gum disease creates gum pockets where anaerobic bacteria can thrive and travel to vulnerable sites in your body, such as your heart,” according to Athanasios Zavras, DDS (chair of the Department of Public Health and Community Service at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston). 
Good dental care is more important as we age.
“If one wants to have their teeth their entire life so they can eat food well they should get their teeth properly restored while they are healthy. When one gets older it can be difficult for them to get broken down teeth properly restored and their only option maybe just having their teeth removed.” – Marc L. Montgomery, DDS
SUMMARY: Enhancing the Smiles of Seniors
Dr. Montgomery has the knowledge and expert skills needed for quality geriatric dentistry. You can enjoy retaining more teeth into your later years of life as a result of the advanced dental technology we provide. You matter to us!
Call 651-738-1880 to gain better dental health as you age.
 Division of Oral Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “Facts About Older Adult Oral Health,” May 5, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/adult-oral-health/adult_older.htm
 Katherine Chiu-Man Leung* and Chun-Hung Chu, “Dental Care for Older Adults,” Dec 2022, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9819414/
 BWH Communications, “More older Americans are Losing Their Teeth,” February 8, 2023, https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2023/02/dental-care-decline-tied-to-medicare-coverage-gap/
 Hallie Levine, “Your Guide to Better Dental Health as You Age,” Nov 2023, https://www.consumerreports.org/health/dental-oral-care/your-guide-to-better-dental-health-as-you-age-a4998034165/