Aging is a normal process that gradually leads to the impairment in performance of various body systems. As a person grows older, there is usually a need for removal partial dentures to replace missing teeth. Without the replacement, an individual may experience difficulty in eating and reduction in the desire to eat foods.
Dental health is an important contributing factor to adequate nutrition for the elderly. When there are disorders in the oral cavity, painful teeth, missing dentition or ill-fitting dentures, the elderly loses the desire to eat healthy food. Inadequate dentition is not life threatening but it can result into health problems that will affect the quality of life of the elderly. Dentists who want to ensure the well being of their elderly patients usually recommend removal partial dentures or complete dentures to prevent health problems arising from inadequate nutrition.
The elderly must have a graceful acceptance of their advancing age. Majority of the older population suffer from oral problems that are treatable and preventable. Most the elderly do not avail of proper treatment because they have not been introduced to the concept of preventive dentistry when they were young. Many still cling to the belief that tooth loss is part of getting old.
The elderly understand the importance of brushing but they often use an extra soft toothbrush. There is very light pressure when brushing which does not effectively remove plague. The brushing method must be modified with more effective rinsing. A therapeutic rinse system with chlorohexidine, benzoate solution, fluoride or other remineralizing agents can stop oral diseases and has to be recommended to the elderly patient when necessary.
The elderly who is using dentures must be taught proper care. Dentures are not permanently embedded into the bone; they are only placed over the ridge. In spite of their durability, they can lose their natural appearance and affect the chewing ability.
Patients who wear removable partial dentures or complete dentures require annual dental checkups to determine the fit and function of the device. Oral health status will be assessed as well as bone loss and oral lesions. Dentures do not last forever; hence, the importance of professional maintenance.