It is delightful to be able to offer something that can contradict the standard refrain “you’re too old too…” Good dentistry is about people. It is about their health, their self esteem, and their quality of life. We are never too “senior” to be served by the life changing concepts and technologies of dental care today.
Here are some common fallacies:
1. I need dentures.
Nobody “needs” dentures. What we all do need is a mouth that allows us to live well, look great, enjoy food, and feel good about ourselves. Whether young or old we need the ability to function without thinking about it, to smile without being self conscious, and to maintain our bodies without dramatic breakdown. Dentures provide few of these things. There are alternatives to the dental “plates” of yesterday which can provide very stable, comfortable and attractive teeth. They are very comfortable to have done. People are routinely amazed at how easy it is. They include implants, bone regeneration, sinus “lift” techniques, over dentures, and others. These procedures are predictable and successful when performed by an experienced and properly qualified clinician. Ask the question “What are my options,” and you will be surprised at the answers.
2. I’m too old for all that dentistry.
Let me ask you a question. Is not today’s 70, yesterdays 60? Are the later years of our lives less important than the rest? Do we want to be less attractive, feel less capable, have more problems, or spend more money on unexpected health issues? Of course the answer is no. We all hope that our later years will provide the opportunity to enjoy what we have worked for. We look forward to living our hopes and dreams, to do the projects we delayed, learn the skills we didn’t before, enjoy our families with more time. These years are certainly not less important. So wouldn’t we want to be at our best for them? Dentistry today can create health and stability at any age. That means an attractive smile, a stable and healthy mouth. It means few unexpected major procedures. It means we can enjoy our smiles, not worry about them. The opposite is also true. Living with the dental problem, “letting things go,” always leads to more problems, expense and pain. This is one area in which we are in control of our future. Dental disease is virtually 100% preventable…at any age.
3. It’s too expensive.
Health care today costs money. Like “death and taxes” this is something we can depend upon regardless of who ends up in the White House. It is important to be able to predict what our expenses might be. Better yet, get problems taken care of earlier, so that we do not face the expenses in retirement when income may be diminished. The fact is care rarely gets less costly with time. Fees increase, procedures become more involved with neglect. A simple filling becomes a root canal and crown, or extraction and implant. So do it now. Consider this, a young adult who invests in thorough and highly skilled dental care throughout life will save on average $20,000 – $40,000 and will retain his or her natural teeth, comfortably and looking good. If we factor in the growth potential of those saved dollars, it becomes a highly significant amount of money. This needs to be done with thorough diagnosis and careful treatment planning. An appropriate new patient examination requires at least an hour with the doctor and should never be rushed. From this an appropriate “master plan” can be determined by the patient and doctor together. This provides long term solutions with the least dentistry possible to accomplish goals mutually decided upon. Instead of being in a state of continuous breakdown, needing unexpected care, and really never feeling good about our mouths, we can enjoy our smiles and be confident in the future.
4. I am too afraid at the dentist to have work done.
Good news! The use of conscious sedation, small pills that you take before and during the procedure, has made absolutely comfortable care a reality for virtually anyone. Fear no longer has to be the barrier it was for so many people with dental needs. The medications, which are primarily benzodiazepines and extremely safe, bring a person to a state of sleepiness yet not full sleep. This along with the slight amnesic effect of these drugs makes the experience completely comfortable.
Dr. Charles Mayo once stated, that a healthy mouth can add ten years to a person’s life. I would suggest that in 2013, it is even more. So bring on birthday 100. Today’s dental care can help make it a successful reality for many of us.
East Aurora Implant Dentistry
If you would like to learn more about Dental Implants or your specific problem, Dr. Meisner’s office is located at 250 Quaker Road, East Aurora, NY and can be reached at (716) 655-3500 or visit their website at www.RMeisner.com.