Plaza Dental Group 515 612 7148  1089 Jordan Creek Pkwy #100, West Des Moines, IA 50266

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Elderly Dental Problems: How to Address and Prevent Them

Elderly Dental Problems: How to Address and Prevent Them

Elderly Dental Problems: How to Address and Prevent Them


As you grow old, you may face a few challenges in maintaining a healthy smile. This is because aging makes you more susceptible to many oral health problems. However, dental health among seniors has greatly improved in recent years. Advanced dentistry makes it possible to address and prevent elderly dental problems effectively.

Common Elderly Dental Problems

Aging puts many older adults at risk for several oral health problems including:

1. Darkened Teeth

With age, the bone-like tissue (the dentin) that lies beneath the tooth enamel changes due to the beverage and foods consumed by us. In addition to teeth discoloration, the diminishing outer enamel layer allows the yellow dentin to become visible, causing darkened teeth.

2. Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a common condition among elderly patients which frequently leads to cavities. The problem is not age related, but the dry mouth has been listed as a side effect by some prescription medications used to treat diseases including depression, pain, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.

3. Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a major problem among the elderly. Plaque buildup and tartar mostly contribute to tooth decay. Over time, gum recession can take place, exposing the roots of the tooth. Tooth decay results in cavities that cause pain, inflammation, infection, and even tooth loss. 

4. Gum Disease

Gum disease in the elderly is a frequent occurrence. Since gum disease develops over a longer period of time, older citizens are more likely to experience problems with gum disease than younger people.

5. Tooth Loss

Tooth loss in seniors is a common issue. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 27.27% of elders over the age of 65 have their remaining teeth missing. Smoking and poor dental hygiene mainly contribute to tooth loss among seniors.

6. Bad Breath

Older adults often suffer from bad breath. However, bad breath isn’t a stand-alone symptom as it is linked to underlying problems such as the dry mouth and periodontal disease. Poor dental hygiene can also lead to bad breath. 

Tips to Address and Prevent Dental Problems in the Elderly

As a senior citizen, you can enjoy good oral health by making informed decisions and taking proper care of your teeth and gums. Here are some oral care tips to preserve good oral hygiene:

  • Brush twice daily with a toothpaste that has fluoride in it.
  • Floss once a day
  • Pay regular visits to your dentist for a dental cleaning and oral exam
  • Use antibacterial mouthwash to rinse off bacteria to prevent the plaque buildup and gum disease
  • Change your toothbrush every 3 -4 months, or earlier if the bristles become tattered
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit consumption of highly sugary food and beverages
  • Increase your calcium intake to strengthen your teeth
  • Clean your dentures regularly with denture cleaners
  • Remove your dentures from your mouth every four hours to maintain your mouth health

As you age, it’s essential to remember these potential risks and act accordingly. You can enjoy a sparkling, healthy smile with the help of your dentist and the right dental care. 

Contact us to learn how to maintain excellent oral health even in your senior years. Schedule your dental appointment with one of our Des Moines dentists today!

Plaza Dental Group

Plaza Dental Group is a leading group of dentists in Des Moines, IA that provides high-quality dentistry in a comfortable and stress-free environment. We have a team of caring and highly-skilled professionals that uses state-of-the-art technology and delivers excellent service to the patients. Request an appointment today!

Dental Implants - Procedure, Recovery and More | Dr. Steffany Mohan

Dental Implants – Procedure, Recovery and More | Dr. Steffany Mohan

Dental Implants – Procedure, Recovery and More | Dr. Steffany Mohan


Tooth loss is widespread concern for most Americans. People of all ages suffer from tooth loss due to reasons such as poor oral care, disease, accidents, and more. Around 90 percent of the population missing their teeth (edentulism) has dentures, as reported by the American College of Prosthodontics. Today, dental implants are the gold standard of care for restorative replacement of lost teeth in the field of cosmetic dentistry. A dental implant procedure aims to renew function as well as the aesthetics of your teeth. Continue reading to learn more about how dental implants can help you achieve the best possible tooth replacement results.

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is comprised of a titanium metal device, surgically placed in your mouth as an artificial root of the missing tooth. The implant merges with the jawbone to offer a stable base for permanent replacement teeth that are created to match your original teeth. Dental implants are the most sought-after procedures in cosmetic dentistry because they provide you with a natural, everlasting smile, while supporting proper mouth function.

Types of Dental Implants

The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) reports two types of implants: An endosteal implant is the most popular type of dental implant, which is placed into the bone. A subperiosteal implant is set on the bone of patients who don’t have sufficient bone levels or can’t have traditional dentures.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

There are numerous benefits to modern-day implants over traditional tooth replacement options.

Here is a list of some significant benefits associated with dental implants:

1. Improved Appearance

Dental implants resemble and feel like your natural teeth because they become permanent after fusing with your jaw bone.

2. Improved Speech

Dental implants allow you to speak freely without the fear that your teeth might fall off.

3. Improved Oral Hygiene

Dental implants allow for better access between teeth for cleaning requirements, thus improving your oral hygiene.

4. Improved Chewing Capability

Dental implants work exactly like your natural teeth, letting you chew on your favorite foods confidently and without pain.

5. Improved Self-Esteem

As your smile and appearance are enhanced with dental implants, your self-esteem also gets boosted.

6. Improved Oral Health

Dental implants don’t necessitate trimming down other teeth to support the implant. Thus, a lot of your teeth remain intact, improving lifelong oral health.

7. Improved Durability

Implants are highly durable and will withstand for many years. With proper care, several implants last a lifetime.

8. Improved Convenience

Dental implants take out the discomfort and embarrassment of removable dentures, and the requirement for messy adhesives to keep them in place.

Check out this video that covers benefits and concerns of dental implants:

Who Can Get Dental Implants?

Usually, anyone who is healthy enough to receive an ordinary dental extraction or mouth surgery can be considered an ideal candidate to undergo a dental implant. Patients need healthy gums and adequate bone structure to support the implant. They also must be diligent towards keeping good oral hygiene and attend routine dental checkups. People who are addicted to smoking, suffering from irrepressible chronic disorders like diabetes or heart ailments, or have undergone radiation therapy in the head or neck region, must be examined on an individual basis.

What Does the Dental Implant Procedure Involve?

Getting implants is a multi-step process that can span over 3 to 6 months. If you are found fit during the screening for an implant, an expert in the field of dental implant and denture prosthetics will surgically insert the implant in your jaw bone. It may also include the removal of the damaged tooth that needs replacement.

The following steps are included in the dental implant process:

1. Initially, an incision gets created in the gum. Then the implant is set into the jawbone with the help of a titanium screw, which enables the implant to substitute the root of the natural tooth.

2. The second step involves stitching the gums. The implant needs to be allowed to heal for a period of three to six months because the jawbone formation around the implant occurs during this time. Temporary crowns can be fitted to enable eating, drinking, and smiling.

3. Following the complete healing of the implant, an abutment must be set on the implant to anchor the artificial teeth or dentures. The abutment is considered as an extension of the metal post of the implant and serves as the foundation for the new tooth. Finally, an abutment impression is utilized to design the tooth restoration.

4. When the restoration process is over, a follow-up a visit to the dentist will be required to complete the process of dental implants and denture prosthetics.

How Long Will a Dental Implant Take?

The average implant treatment duration is three to six months. Once your implant is set in place, your body forms bone in the region close to the implant to permanently bind it in place. The biological process of bone formation requires a minimum of 4 months. Sometimes there are conditions in which you can have dental implants placed in a single office visit. If you have been suffering from missing teeth for some time and have a lower denture problem, a specialized tooth implant can be set in your lower jaw to stabilize the lower denture. This specific implant method can be done quickly with negligible surgery, and in many situations, the implants are fit to be used when you leave the dentist office. Such specialized implants are called mini implants and can be completed for use in a single visit.

Are Dental Implants Painful?

During the Surgery:

If your bone tissues are healthy, you shouldn’t experience any pain during the surgery. Also, very few pain-sensing nerves are present in the area of the bone where the implant is placed. People who have experienced dental implants state that there is only a minute of discomfort involved in the procedure. Local anesthesia can be helpful during the process. Also, many patients have expressed that implants involve less pain as compared to tooth extraction.

After the Surgery:

Since dental implants are a major dental procedure, you will probably feel some discomfort after the surgery for a couple of days. However, any discomfort should be manageable. Following the dental implant, mild tenderness is manageable with over-the-counter pain medications or warm salt-water rinses. An ice pack helps reduce swelling by placing it on the skin around the surgery location immediately after treatment.

Is Follow-Up Care Required After a Dental Implant Procedure?

Dental implants carry the risk of forming a condition known as “peri-implantitis,” which is similar to a periodontal (gum) disease, occurring in natural teeth. Peri-implantitis can lead to the loss of an implant in the absence of the right treatment. After undergoing a dental implant, regular care at home and follow-ups with the dentist are necessary to avoid this condition. Proper oral care for a dental implant at home includes routine brushing and flossing to remove food debris and plaque. The dentist will examine the soft and hard tissues surrounding the implants and use special tools to eliminate harder calcified deposits close to the dental implant. If required, the bite is adjusted to make sure that the implant isn’t prone to massive biting forces.

What Kind of Risks, Complications, and Problems Can You Expect with Dental Implants?

 

Every surgery involves some risks and possible complications. Careful planning is required to ensure that a patient is fit enough to receive oral surgery and heal correctly. Similar to all oral surgery techniques; bleeding disorders, contamination, allergies, present medical state, and medications, require careful review before continuing with the treatment. Luckily, the rate of success is quite high, and failure occurs typically in the remote case of infection, dental implant fracture, overburdening of the dental implant, casualty to the surrounding region(nerves, blood vessels, teeth), improper positioning of the dental implant, or inappropriate bone quantity or quality. Again, sound planning with a competent surgeon can help confront these problems. In many instances, a failed dental implant can be improved by reattempting replacement at a proper time after healing has occurred.

How Affordable Are Dental Implant Procedures?

You may be surprised to know how cost-effective dental implants are when compared to various other options, as they are a lifelong investment that offers a permanent tooth replacement solution.

A dental implant is just a titanium device fixed in the jaw bone to support, or join, a bionic tooth or teeth. The cost of dental implant treatments varies as they are customized to suit your specific need and depend on several individual factors including:

  1. The quality, quantity, and position of the bone.
  2. The count of teeth that need replacement and the kind of artificial teeth to be utilized.
  3. The variety of implant(s) that will be suitable.
  4. The number of implants required to support these teeth.

Acknowledging the long-term advantages of dental implants over different tooth replacement options, a growing list of insurance companies have begun to provide some coverage. Implant dentists are also offering financing and payment options to make sure dental implants are more affordable than ever before, so make sure you discuss what plans your dentist has to offer.

What Are the Rates of Success for Dental Implants?

Over time, medical science has technologically progressed and improved the results of dental implants. The rates of success for dental implants vary according to the location of the jaw where the implants are needed. However, today, dental implants have up to a 98% success rate, and with appropriate care, implants can endure a lifetime.

Why Choose Experienced Dentists for Dental Implant Treatments

Since dental implants are considered a major dental surgery, it’s necessary to choose a surgeon experienced in dental implant and denture prosthetics, whom can provide gentle treatment. The expert dentists at Plaza Dental Group in West Des Moines are committed to improving patients’ lives and making them appear years younger through the All-on-4 Denture Implants technique. We have a highly satisfied customer base who admits to having very negligible pain and discomfort with their dental implants.

Watch this video to learn more about the All-on-4 Denture Implants technique:

Plaza Dental Group

Plaza Dental Group is a leading group of dentists in Des Moines, IA that provides high-quality dentistry in a comfortable and stress-free environment. We have a team of caring and highly-skilled professionals that uses state-of-the-art technology and delivers excellent service to the patients. Request an appointment today!

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I’ve been so impressed and grateful for the care I’ve received at Plaza Dental! From cleanings to potential periodontal issues, Lacey and Dr. J have been on top of my progress. Highly educated, thorough, incredibly friendly, and patient-focused. I would highly recommend them!
Cynthia Shidler
Cynthia Shidler
The Plaza Dental staff is just the BEST! I always enjoy coming in for my cleanings and my Invisalign appointments. I always feel at home like I'm a part of the family. Thank you all for that. A big shoutout to Dr. Dietrich, Susan (Suzie), and Noel. I love you guys so much!!!! Thank you all for your contribution on this journey to a beautiful smile. Xoxo!!!!read more
Savion Solé
Savion Solé
My experience was amazing! Everyone was so kind and answered all my questions. I am usually one who has a fear of dentist, but I felt so comfortable and relaxed which I have never experienced at a dental office before.
Taylor Moore
Taylor Moore
My experience with the Plaza Dental Group has been amazing! The receptionist was delightful when I initially called to schedule my appointment. She had me laughing. I was warmly greeted and didn't have to wait long. They were non judgemental and thorough in my initial examination. I was given a detailed plan of action to address my issues. Today my appointment with Dr. Odland was excellent. He has the most gentle touch by the way. A must in a Dentist in my opinion. Aaron a future dentist helped make me comfortable and he assisted Dr. Odland perfectly while keeping me comfortable throughout the process. My overall experience has been wonderful. I highly recommend this experienced group of professionals. They've got a lifelong client with me.read more
MS Cacklebottom
MS Cacklebottom
Lacey does an amazing job- highly recommend her for hygiene needs. Also- Dr. Jay is hands down the best dentist I’ve ever seen. These folks deal with your anxiety in a positive way, are supportive and helpful — and you leave there feeling better and definitely being a little more proud of your smile!read more
Nick Ryan
Nick Ryan
I always have THE best experiences at Plaza Dental. The entire staff is amazing and friendly. Especially Susie and Noel who are simply THE best! I highly recommend for regular dental visits and I was highly impressed with my Invisalign treatment. I actually look forward to going to the dentist now! Love it!read more
Jamie Petersen
Jamie Petersen
I recently had cosmetic surgery. Dr. Dietrich and her assistant Joel were so professional and did excellent work. I am beyond pleased with my new smile!
LR Meyer
LR Meyer
To the whole plaza dental family you guys are the best I strongly recommend you guys to every one🙂🙂🙂 really kind nice people and do the best job EVER!!! Doctor JAY JENSEN you rock and congratulations on your move,also to all the staff you ladies made me feel very comfortable thank you thank you god bless.Doctor Jay Jensen keep doing your thing🙂 and the ladies up front you guys double rock🙂🙂 thanks for opening the door for me Lol, Alvin Thanks Plaza!!!!read more
Alvin Lee
Alvin Lee
This place is amazing. I feel the most comfortable and at ease here over any dental office I've ever been to and I've been around the block. Lacey is best although one time she wore white after labor day, but I won't fault her for that.
David Prins
David Prins
My dental hygienist, Sara, is the kindest person to work with. She is honest with her overview and analysis. She is friendly and happy to talk to you. I’ve never had a bad experience at Plaza and would recommend anyone come in for a consult or to be a new client with the dental practice. Thank you Sara for all that you do!read more
Kevin Black
Kevin Black
I would recommend to anyone! Great and friendly staff.Really put me at ease.Kept me well informed during my visit as to what procedure was being done.Great experience overall.
Dave Gates
Dave Gates
Professional, really caring team!! It’s awesome to be able to receive such expert care and most procedures can be taken care of in one place. Highly recommend this great place!!!! So kind and helpful.
Amy Gionis
Amy Gionis
They are the best! I do not like going to the dentist. I think most people don't. My dental hygienists, Sara, is amazing! She very quick but very thorough. My teeth look great when I leave and I am in and out quickly, which I appreciate. The dentist are all wonderful and I trust them. They also have wonderful whitening options. Been going for several years now and I'm never disappointed.read more
Katie Petersen
Katie Petersen
I highly recommend! They have the friendliest staff and are so professional and seem very knowledgeable! I had the boost whitening done and loved the results.
Taylor Brummer
Taylor Brummer
Dr. Odland is the best dentist I've ever had! He was so comfortable and personable. He transformed my smile in just 30 minutes and I've never felt more confident. Thank you!!
Alexa Wolfe
Alexa Wolfe
The Staff and Doctors are friendly, courteous, and professional. I no longer have "Dentist" phobia. Early morning appointments are greatly appreciated.
Donald Ryan
Donald Ryan
They were great! I loved how the dentist came and discussed my options at length with me. Shared the truth about some of the challenges I would face with each option! It was the best dental office experience I have ever had!
Tom Byber
Tom Byber
This office was so beautiful and clean. The staff was friendly and warm. I never felt rushed and all my needs were addressed. The dentist had great bedside manner and was very informative. I would highly recommend!
Austin Fawler
Austin Fawler
I had to get fillings for the first time and I was nervous wreck. Noelle and Jennifer were talking the whole time about their lives and they kept me calm. Noelle's playlist was great and they were both professional! They made sure I was doing alright and not feeling anything every couple minutes or if I was wincing. They would stop immediately and asked if I needed a break.read more
Nicole Jackson
Nicole Jackson
My experience at Ideal was awesome! The dental assistant Kevyon is always friendly and does a good job at calming me with great attitude and energy before my work is done. The dentist was very experienced and did each procedure without causing me any pain. Brooke Shields was very knowledgeable and answered all of my questions and concerns. Thank you all for another great visit.read more
John Farny
John Farny
My daughter has had a number of bad dental experiences and has become a challenging/anxious patient. She’s now had her first cleaning and a filling, all within a week. The staff was able to help her manage her anxiety and made it a great experience for both of us - something I didn’t think was possible.read more
Mikki Neff
Mikki Neff
Susan was absolutely phenomenal! I have a huge fear of anything doctor or dentist related and she made the trip so great! She explained as she went, she took the time to listen to me and she gave me great information to everything I asked. She was very thorough and knowledgeable. She was efficient, but I did not feel rushed at all. The entire office was very nice and friendly and so welcoming. And the extra things they offer to make sure you're comfortable (warm neck towel, paraffin wax hand dip, extra water, etc) made it the most relaxing trip to the dentist I've ever experienced. 100% recommending to everyone I know and will never go anywhere else! Thank you Susan and the entire office staff! I actually look forward to my next appointment!read more
Kathrina Petersen
Kathrina Petersen
Plaza Dental Group
Plaza Dental Group. 1089 Jordan Creek Parkway, Suite 100, West Des Moines, IA 50266

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