Category Archives: Geriatrics

Family Dentist

family dentist

Photo Credit: LuckyImages | Adobe Stock

4 Things You Should Know About Family Dentists

If you’re looking for a great dentist in the Santa Cruz area, you must consider choosing a family dentist. Family dentists offer many types of treatments and have many advantages.

Check out these four things you may not know about a family dentist.

1. They See Patients of All Ages

Get your whole family’s treatments done in one location with Landmark Dental family dentist. It’s right there in the name: “family” dentist, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that a family dentist like Landmark Dental in Santa Cruz sees patients of all ages. You don’t have to take your child to a pediatric dentist, your parents to a geriatric dentist and yourself to a general dentist. Landmark offers services targeted at different age groups, such as sealants for children.

The benefits of choosing one family dentist for your entire family are convenience and comfort. You can schedule all your cleanings in lumped appointments, so you don’t have to miss work on more than one day. Also, the dentist gets to know you and your family better, which makes everyone a little more comfortable about going to the dentist.

2. Many Offer Major Services

You may think that a family dentist can’t offer much more than cleanings, X-rays and yearly exams. While they do offer these important services, that’s not all they offer. Many family dentists also offer major services you wouldn’t expect. Many offer services such as extraction, dental bridge and dental crowns, so you don’t have to go see a specialist.

They may even offer more specialized services. For example, at Landmark Dental Group, you can have your root canal therapy performed without having to go see an endodontist. This is especially important because people tend to fear root canals. However, if you are able to have yours performed by your regular dentist, you know what to expect and feel less anxious than if you have to see a specialist you don’t know.

3. They Typically Offer Cosmetic Services

Cosmetic dentistry is exploding. To keep up with the demand, more and more general dentists are learning these valuable skills. So it’s no wonder so many family dentists offer cosmetic services. It isn’t surprising to find that a dentist provides treatments like tooth whitening, porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers and tooth-colored fillings.

Some dentists, however, go above and beyond to ensure their patients get a gorgeous smile without having to see a specialist. At Landmark Dental Group, if you have missing teeth, you don’t have to choose between a bridge or dentures because they offer dental implants.

4. They’ll Give You a Healthy, Beautiful Smile

The best thing about family dentists, however, is that they are dedicated to give you a smile you want. Of course, this starts with a healthy foundation of strong teeth. Therefore, your dentist will work with you to create a treatment plan that will get your teeth healthy with cleanings, fillings, root planing and scaling, etc. If you already have a healthy smile, your dentist will help you keep it that way.

For many people, however, having a healthy smile isn’t enough, but a dentist who only focuses on cosmetic dentistry may not be the best option. When you choose a dentist who also wants to keep your smile healthy, you’ll get a treatment plan that is perfect for improving the look of your smile without impacting the health.

Choose a dentist that can treat your whole family and provide a wide range of services. You’ll get a healthy, beautiful smile. For more information, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Geriatric Dentistry Santa Cruz

Photo Credit:  Phase4Photography | Adobe Stock

Photo Credit: Phase4Photography | Adobe Stock

4 Dental Dangers That Affect Geriatric Patients

Everyone is at risk for various dental problems, such as cavities. However, as you age, your risk of developing more severe problems rises because of natural wear and tear — perhaps from a lifetime of not caring for your teeth. Landmark Dental Group welcomes patients of all ages, including geriatric patients. To learn more about geriatric dentistry, check out these four common dental dangers that affect older patients, just below.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth may just seem like an annoyance, but it has major consequences. The saliva in your mouth plays an important role in the health of your teeth. It helps remove the bacteria and the foods on which bacteria feeds, such as sugar. When you have a dry mouth, nothing is flushed from your mouth. It stays on your teeth, promoting decay and tartar build up. Everyone can get dry mouth, but it is quite common in older people due to the fact that there are many medications that can cause dry mouth, and oftentimes geriatric patients are on multiple prescriptions.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is another problem that affects many elderly patients. Without treatment, it can lead to severe pain, gum recession, tooth loss or even loss of bone structure in the jaw. Gum disease is completely preventable with good oral hygiene, but it is still common. Failing to get routine cleanings that can eliminate tartar or being a smoker can increase your risk of gum disease. Landmark Dental Group offers geriatric dentistry treatments to help reverse or relieve the symptoms of gum disease, such as cleanings and antibiotic treatments.

Root Caries

Root caries are special types of cavities. Most cavities occur on the erupted portion of your teeth. However, root caries occur on the roots of the teeth. This leads to discomfort and increases the risk of tooth infection or tooth loss. Root caries are more common on elderly patients because they are more likely to have gaps between their gums and teeth, which allow bacteria to hide and cause decay. Landmark offers services such as scaling and root planing to prevent root caries, and they can, of course, treat them once they occur.

Missing Teeth

A lot of elderly patients have missing teeth. Again, there are many causes for this, such as poor oral hygiene habits, smoking, trauma, gum disease, normal wear-and-tear over the years, etc. The more teeth you have missing, the harder it is to talk and eat properly. Landmark offers a wide selection of options for replacing missing teeth, including dentures, dental bridges and implants. If you already have dentures, but they aren’t fitting properly, that’s normal. Landmark can help resize them for you, so you can once again eat and talk without trouble.

It’s important for everyone to care for their teeth, even the elderly. In fact, they often have more problems than younger people, but most of these problems can be corrected. For more information about geriatric dentistry, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Geriatric Dentistry at Landmark Dental Group

landmark dental geriatric patient

photo credit: Dollar Photo Club

As you age, you need more specialized care, and that includes your oral care. Landmark Dental Group has all the skills and services that geriatric patients need, such as gum disease treatment and dentures. Check out how Landmark Dental can help with the varying oral problems that older patients face.

Dry Mouth

Many patients in the elderly population take common medications for a variety of health issues – including high blood pressure and diabetes. Although these medications can be beneficial for the whole body, many can cause oral side effects that can negatively effect the mouth and teeth. A very common side effect from taking medications is xerostomia, or dry mouth. With a dry mouth, there is a significant decrease in saliva flow. Since saliva is necessary to balance the pH in our mouth and reduce the acidity that bacteria are producing, the rate of cavities is greatly increased.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease or gum disease is not a natural part of aging. However, it is a very common condition in elderly patients. Landmark Dental offers many services and treatments to help control, or treat, the different types of gum disease. Patients can undergo deep cleaning scaling and root planing to remove inflammation-causing bacteria and plaque.

Missing Teeth

Whether due to gum disease, decay or simply natural wear and tear, many elderly patients are missing some, or all, of their teeth. This can make eating and speaking extremely difficult. However, Landmark Dental offers many different types of denture options. For patients with a few missing teeth, partial dentures are a great option, but for patients who are missing all of their teeth, complete dentures are best. Landmark Dental also offers implant-supported dentures, which create more stability than traditional dentures. Whichever option ends up working out best in your situation, rest assured that you will regain your smile’s beauty and functionality.

Poorly-Fitted Dentures

You may already have dentures, but if you’ve had them for a long time, they may no longer fit. When you’re missing teeth, your jaw naturally diminishes and becomes smaller. Over time, this causes your dentures to become too big. If your dentures continue to move or fall out when you talk or eat, it may be time for a new set. Your Landmark Dental dentist can determine if a completely new set of dentures is best or if less-expensive relines are a good option. Relines use your existing dentures, but recapture the new shape of your mouth so that your current dentures fit better.

Root Caries

Root caries are another common problem in older adults. Even if you don’t have gum disease, your gums may recede or develop pockets as you age. This can expose the vulnerable tooth roots to bacteria and plaque. Your tooth roots aren’t protected by enamel, so they are more prone to decay when exposed. Your Landmark Dental dentist can treat the cavities and work on a solution to prevent them from happening again.

Whether you have gum disease, need dentures, have root caries or any other dental concern, Landmark Dental is here. With services specifically designed for geriatric patients, they have the education and experience to help patients at every stage of life. For more information about geriatric dentistry services, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

4 Common Conditions That Can Be Improved With Geriatric Dentistry

Older Man With Tooth Pain

photo credit: Dollar Photo Club

As you age, your smile may not be as healthy as it once was, but geriatric dentistry can help. Healthy gums and teeth are important at every stage of life, and if you’re struggling with your oral health, your dentist can help. Check out these four common problems in elderly patients and how they are prevented and treated.

Periodontal Disease

Although the CDC states that 70.1 percent of adults aged 65 years and older have periodontal disease, it isn’t a normal part of aging. With proper at-home dental care and routine dental cleanings/exams, you can prevent periodontal disease. However, if you already have gum disease, there are some treatments:

  • Deep cleanings that involve cleaning and smoothing the root to destroy plaque, tartar and bacteria
  • Antibiotic medications, gels and mouthwash that kill bacteria
  • Flap surgery, which reduces the gap between teeth and gums (a perfect hiding spot for bacteria)
  • Bone and tissue grafts to add volume to the gums or jawbone in the event of gum or bone recession

If you have gingivitis, the mild form of gum disease, these treatments may reverse it. Periodontitis or advanced gum disease isn’t reversible, but these treatments can reduce symptoms.

Missing Teeth

Missing teeth are also common in elderly patients, but there are a lot of ways your dentist can help you replace your missing teeth:

  • Dental bridges use existing teeth as anchors and bridge the gap to fill in the missing tooth or teeth
  • Dentures can be used to replace all or some missing teeth, and they are removable
  • Dental implants are implanted into the gums, and you can choose a single implant, an implant-supported bridge or implant-supported dentures.

Which option is best for you depends on many factors, such as how many teeth are missing, what types of results you want, the health of your gums/existing teeth and your budget. For example, dental implants are the most durable option, but they are also the most expensive, and they may not be good in patients with periodontitis. Your dentist can work with you to help you decide which option is best.

Tooth Root Decay

Enamel acts as a barrier to protect your teeth against plaque and bacteria. However, the roots of your teeth don’t have enamel, and if your gums recede, your roots may be exposed, leading to root caries or tooth root decay.

Treatments include:

  • Fillings that are used to replace the cavity, similar to normal cavities
  • Root canal treatment, which may be necessary if the cavity has reached the core of the tooth and caused infection
  • Gum grafts to recover and protect the roots of the teeth against future problems

Poorly-Fitting Dentures

When you have dentures, your jawbone slowly shrinks because there is nothing to stimulate it. Over time, this causes your dentures to become loose, making it difficult to eat and talk. If you’re tired of dentures that don’t fit right, here are a few treatments to consider:

  • New traditional dentures replace your old dentures and fit better because they use a fresh mold in your mouth
  • Soft or hard relines can be added to your existing dentures to recapture the shape of your mouth, allowing your dentures to fit more snuggly
  • Implant-supported dentures are removable but extremely sturdy, and they don’t have to be resized because the implants stimulate your jaw, preventing it from shrinking

Dental care is possible at any age, and geriatric dentistry is designed to help elderly patients. If you have any of these problems, contact Landmark Dental Group today and schedule an appointment.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz