Among the details that condition the oral health of the elderly is their teeth. During the third age, the elderly who are very active and who carry out family and social activities need a denture that offers them total security to be able to speak, eat, and improve their aesthetics, given the changes that occur in facial features. product of the passage of time. Denture charity programs that provide free dentures for low income families On the other hand, good teeth are necessary to put an end to situations such as poor nutrition and speech problems.
From the age of 65, it is normal for concerns to arise regarding the selection of dental implant or prosthetic treatments, due to problems such as lack of maxillary bone, previous implants that are uncomfortable, mobility problems of implants or dental prostheses, among other causes. In any case, and as long as there is no medical contraindication, older people can opt for different dental alternatives.
Why do teeth fall out in the elderly?
Tooth loss in older adults is related to several reasons, which can be congenital or acquired, among which the following are worth mentioning:
- Lack of oral hygiene.
- Periodontal diseases that damage the gums.
- Presence of caries.
- Absence of permanent teeth, because the person still retains a primary or “baby” tooth.
- Broken teeth, caused by accidents and trauma.
- Mechanical problems that compromise the teeth, such as bruxism (an unconscious reaction of grinding the teeth).
When one or several teeth fall out, the way of speaking, pronouncing words, chewing food, decreased support in the lips, articulation of jaw movements, as well as causing embarrassment when smiling are altered.
Having a dental implant improves quality of life, since it prevents chewing overload on the rest of the teeth, which leads to an alteration of the bite and a change in dental alignment.
Dental prosthesis in the elderly
It is important that after the loss of one or more teeth, the elderly person goes to the specialist, because once a tooth is extracted, the maxillary bone tends to shrink, and also because the gum is affected. When this happens, it becomes more difficult to carry out a treatment to place dental prostheses, whether they are fixed or removable.
Since there are different alternatives, it is necessary for the patient to trust the dentist’s criteria. Today, thanks to medical advances, it is possible to offer alternatives to dentures. Permanent dental implants are properly integrated into the patient’s bone, as long as their gums are capable of holding the piece. However, even when problems of this type exist, it is possible to have methods such as gum or bone grafts, which optimize the oral condition and allow the placement of implants without fear of rejection.
It is necessary to take into account that there are different types of dental pieces, as well as various surgical procedures that entail certain adaptation problems. In the event that the older adult needs to replace a tooth, he will have to choose a single tooth prosthesis, while if it involves several pieces, other types of solutions must be used.
In any case, the temporary prosthesis must be placed immediately after the extraction of the teeth, once the measurements and impressions of the new teeth have been carried out. The temporary prosthesis will help the patient to protect their gums and relieve pain, as well as to make immediate use of a set of dental prostheses, while going through the entire process until it is completed. Permanent dentures are placed after the gums and jaw bones have healed.
Dentures are removable artificial teeth that you can wear to replace your natural teeth that may have been lost due to gum disease, injury, or tooth decay. Wearing dentures will not only restore your smile and confidence, it will also help you speak and eat better. Dentures are also the best alternative to dental implants, and their price is ten times less. However, since prostheses are quite expensive, many older people find it difficult to acquire them. Take a look at these three free dental charity programs that can help you get dentures for free or at an affordable price.
PACE (Comprehensive Care Program for the Elderly)
This is a Medicaid or Medicare program that was established to help people meet the necessary health care needs in their communities. This includes dental health care. To be eligible for free PACE dentures, you must be a legal resident of the area where this service is offered, be over the age of 55, and qualify for nursing home care.
The Dental Life Network
It was previously known as the National Dental Foundation for the Handicapped. This charity offers access to comprehensive dental services to people who are medically at risk, elderly or disabled. It has a flagship program called Donated Dental Services (DDS) that has more than 17,000 dental care volunteers and more than 3,5000 dental labs that offer free dental treatment.
The National Association of Free Charity Clinics (NAFCC)
It is an organization that seeks to expand affordable health care to the medically underserved. The NAFCC upholds its belief that adequate health care is a right and not a privilege, ensuring that the uninsured and poor have access to medical and dental services. This organization has 1,200 clinics throughout the country that help fulfill its noble objective.
Qualification for Free Dentures
To qualify and receive free dentures through charities for seniors, you must meet low-income requirements, have no insurance, and be 60 years of age or older. In addition, you must submit copies of your retirement benefits or Social Security tax returns, and bank statements.
Not eligible for free dentures? Consider a Discount Dental Plan
If you don’t qualify for free dentures, you still have other options that can help you get affordable dentures. One of the most affordable options is discount dental plans. These dental plans are a great dental plan option for seniors who do not have dental insurance and want to save money on dental care. Discount dental plans are different from insurance, and have no premiums, copays, and waiting periods, while still offering dental services at reduced prices. Contact DentalSave to learn more about dental plans and how they can help you save money on dentures.