Everyone needs a great dentist to help them keep their mouth healthy and looking great. In Midlothian, VA., Biggers Family Dentistry has been helping patients of all ages for more than 30 years. In that time, dentistry has advanced immensely, and we have new and innovative ways to treat your dental problems.
One area of dentistry we are focused on is care for seniors, those 65 years and older. Many seniors we treat didn’t have access to great dentistry as a kid, or they spent many years away from the dentistry. Unfortunately, there are also a few serious dental issues that affect seniors at a higher rate than any other population. We want to focus on some of those today. You’ll find that each of these issues affect your mouth AND your body
- Gum disease
- Missing teeth
- Sleep apnea
Don’t Let Gum Disease Take Over Your Smile
Gum disease is an extremely common problem that will affect millions of people. It’s also the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. We’ve found that about 50 percent of all adults will have gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. For seniors, we’ve found that number rises to about 70 percent! That’s a huge amount of people who are dealing with gum disease and at risk of losing their teeth.
At Biggers Family Dentistry , we are treating gum infections with dental scaling and root planing. That’s the process of removing plaque and tartar that could go on to erode the gums and bone surrounding the tooth. It’s important to understand that the early stages of gum disease can be reversed with professional intervention, but the later stages of gum disease, periodontitis, is not curable. If you have advanced gum disease, you’ll need care for the rest of your life. We recommend that patients with gum disease visit the dentist once every three to four months for cleanings and exams.
Finding the right dentist to treat your gum disease is important because new studies are showing that untreated gum disease increases your risk for problems like heart disease and diabetes.
Find Great Replacement Options For Failing Teeth
In a perfect world, all of us would never have a dental problem and our teeth would last forever. However, teeth can fail because of infection or break as we age.
It’s estimated that more than 27 percent of American seniors have no more remaining teeth. Many of these people are using removable dentures to fill the gaps created from missing teeth. Removable dentures have been used in dentistry for hundreds of years actually. Today’s dentures are nothing like they use to be. They are stronger and more lifelike than ever, but all dentures have one central problem: functionality. Dentures rest on the gums, and most denture wearers notice that the dentures slide while they try to eat. Studies have found that dentures only provide about 25 to 50 percent of the biting force of natural teeth.
If you want more function in your denture or something nearly as good as natural teeth, you might consider dental implants . Dental implants are considered to be the strongest tooth replacement in dentistry. The implants are made from titanium and naturally fuse to the jawbone. Dental implants will actually fuse to the jawbone overtime, so the implant literally becomes part of your body. An implant can be restored with a crown, bridge, or denture.
For our edentulous patients (those without any of their remaining teeth), we often use a system known as All-on-4 . This system uses a series of dental implants on one arch, and the implants are restored with a bridge. One of the best parts of All-on-4 is that the upper palate is left open, giving you more tastes than you ever had with traditional dentures.
We’re using 3D to strategically place implants. Using the 3D technology, we can find the most appropriate location for the implant. That’s why we’re placing implants with a more than 98 percent success rate !
Sleep Better And Feel Better
Sleep is a major part of our lives. A bad night’s sleep can take a toll on your body and mind. Seniors face a higher risk of sleep problems like snoring and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs whenever you experience pauses in breathing at night.
There are two types of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common of the two, and it occurs whenever soft tissue obstructs the airway during sleep. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to an increase in high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and even stroke!
The traditional way to treat sleep apnea is with a CPAP. This machine includes a hose, mask, and a machine. The CPAP is the gold standard for treating sleep apnea, but it’s also uncomfortable. In fact, it only has a 50 percent compliance rate and can interrupt your sleep or your bed partner’s sleep.
For many cases of sleep apnea, we don’t need to use a CPAP to treat sleep apnea. Instead, we can fashion a comfortable oral appliance for you to wear. The oral appliance fits over the lower teeth and moves the jaw forward to keep the airway open during sleep. The device resolves snoring and sleep apnea issues immediately, is easy to travel with, and will not disrupt your sleep partner.
Partner With the Dentist Who Can Improve Your Health
It’s important to find the right dentist who can resolve your dental needs at every stage of your life. Seniors face a risk of a number of dental problems, and at Biggers Family Dentistry, we can help you keep your mouth looking and feeling great. You can start your dental journey with us by calling 804-977-0092 or use the online form to book an appointment.