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Dental and Oral Health (Seniors)

Tooth Loss in the Elderly

12/05/2000

Question:

I care for an elderly individual, age 89, who is experiencing the loss of multiple teeth, multiple times, in a very short period. (5 teeth in 6 months)

This individual has never visited a dentist unless there was a problem and views cost to be all important.

Are dentures a practical for this situation? I am concerned about the stress on the individual to undergo the necessary extractions, etc.

Answer:

Loss of teeth in this patient may indicate several oral heath problems, such as chronic destructive periodontics. This disease causes bone loss and destruction of gum fibers. Today removal of teeth can be done with least amount of discomfort, sometimes no discomfort at all. Dentures can be an option, but remember artificial teeth cannot match natural teeth in efficiency and comfort. After a period of adjustment to wearing a denture, this person will be able to live as normal as can be. Your most economical place to have this denture work done is the nearest dental school to you.

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Response by:

Abdel Rahim   Mohammad, DDS, MS, MPH, FAAOM, FACD Abdel Rahim Mohammad, DDS, MS, MPH, FAAOM, FACD
Clinical Professor of Geriatrics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University