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June 4th, 2014

Unfortunately, as we reach the “Golden years”, all our previous dental treatment may begin to catch up with us.  Fillings done years before become brittle and need replacement and periodontal problems may even cause some tooth loss.  By the age of retirement, usually still considered to be 65 by many, there may be some need for some dental work that may be somewhat expensive. This may include crowns, bridges, and even implants.  Many patients ask, “Is this worth it at my age?”
‘The answer is definitely “Yes.”  Did you know that the average life expectancy at age 65 is over 16 years to just over age 81?  “At 70, that number is over 13 to just beyond age 83.  Temporary fixes just put off the inevitable decision to a later age when other medical problems may make treatment more difficult.  Besides, doing proper treatment the first time around lets you enjoy the proper function and appearance for all those additional years.
It’s critical to communicate with your dental team and let them know your needs and desires.  There is no one “right” treatment plan for anyone, just the one that you feel is right for you.  There may be many alternative treatments to consider which will result in an acceptable and functional result.
One key to good health is proper nutrition.  Proper nutrition, in turn, depends on the ability to chew and eat well.  Keeping your mouth in the best condition possible will afford you the luxury of a good diet and a great smile through those “Golden years”.
Most important is the communication with your dentist before treatment is decided on and begun.  Discussion of all the treatment alternatives and their various pros and cons is critical.  It may be very helpful to have a spouse, sibling, child or even a close friend present for the discussion.  Often there is a lot of information and it can be difficult to absorb and then describe to someone else who wants to help with any decisions.  Another set of ears is always helpful in these situations.  Make sure to write down any questions and concerns so that everything can be covered at the consultation visit.

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