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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults


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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults

Once my children were grown and on their own, I decided it was time to care of me. One of the first things I did was make an appointment with the dentist. I quickly discovered that years of not keeping up with my own dental care had taken a heavy toll on my teeth. Whereas I thought my teeth were just fine, the dentist pointed out several problems that were going to require a lot of work. When talking to friends, I found out that many of them were in the same boat. This blog is for people like me who just did not have time to keep up with their own dental care.

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Handling A Sudden Dental Issue

Many patients will fail to be prompt when they are needing to have their dental issues treated. When a patient is experiencing a dental emergency, these delays could prove to be extremely damaging and costly. When patients base their dental treatment decisions on myths, they can increase the risk that these problems strike them.

Myth: The Emergency Room Will Be Able To Treat Your Dental Issue

Patients that are in the midst of a dental emergency may assume that the hospital's ER will be able to provide them with the treatment that their problems require. However, dental work will require highly specialized equipment, and it is extremely unlikely that the hospital will carry this equipment. While a hospital can help patients by cleaning the injury or providing pain medications, this is likely the extent of the care that is provided. Rather, patients that are suffering from a dental emergency will have to visit a dentist to have these problems treated. Fortunately, emergency dentists are able to see their clients ina very short period of time, and they may even be available at all hours of the day.  

Myth: Swelling Itself Does Not Pose A Threat Outside Causing Discomfort

Swelling is a common side effect of dental injuries, diseases, and surgeries. Due to the fact that swelling can be fairly common, patients will often underestimate the impact that swelling can have. In fact, swelling can inhibit the healing process by restricting blood flow. Furthermore, the pressure from the swelling can put enough strain on nearby nerves to cause damage. When patients are aware of the full threats that swelling can pose to their dental health and treatment, they can be more likely to value promptly treating this issue. Ice and cold compresses are some of the easiest solutions for patients with serious swelling.

Myth: A Lost Tooth Is A Permanent Cosmetic Problem

Losing a tooth is a major cosmetic problem, but it does not have to be a permanent cosmetic issue. Dental implants, bridges, and other treatments can be effective at replacing missing teeth in a way that will be harder for others to notice. In addition to these replacement options, a patient may not always have to lose their actual tooth. For example, those with serious decay may be able to undergo a root canal and have a suitable crown placed. Lastly, some missing teeth can actually be replaced as long as they are recovered in good condition. Unfortunately, if the nerve of the tooth or the exterior has suffered extensive damage, replacing it will be the only effective treatment option.

For more information, reach out to an emergency dental care clinic.