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Bad Teeth: Baby Boomers

Boomer Teeth

The general population of older adults that comprise the "Baby Boomer Crowd" share many experiences and life events that can cause very similar treatment needs in dentistry.

Treatment delay is probably one of the major factors that cause an almost predictable range of dental issues, treatment needs and treatment possibllities for this very large patient population.

Being busy with careers, raising a family and most certainly educating children can cause a drain on finite financial resources that often cause heads of households to cut back or economize where it is the easiest and least "felt" by all family members.

It is no secret that a nearly routine method of implementing cutbacks in the household budget is to forestall medical and dental treatment. Children typically become the focus for obtaining treatment when it is needed..... but delayed for the parent or guardian.

Discolored teeth, failing or leaking crowns, diastemas, tooth rotations or shifted teeth due to long standing occlusal abnormalities, underbite, overbite, crossbite, teeth flaring, loose bridgework, broken or cracked dentures (partials too) and simply worn down - worn out teeth are ALL shared to some extent by the Boomers.

This gallery contains examples of a wide range of before photos that display the most common dental conditions and needs for Boomers who are preparing to finally begin getting the treatments they have been delaying for a long time.

A 60 something female with teeth that appear to be worse than they really are. The apparent mis-match of shading along with some aging crowns have created a cosmetic appearance that makes the patient unhappy.

Power whitening, combined with selective use of custom veneers and crowns will create an even bite and proportionally sized teeth that are "correct" for her smile line. Who says there is a limit on how old one should be for wanting the best that cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry can provide?

Bone Tooth Bite Loss
Worn Out Dental Cosmetics
Kristin Petulla, DDS

Executive Teeth ... huh? These teeth belong to a successful boomer-age executive whose busy corporate lifestyle interfered significantly with his ability to maintain optimal oral health throughout his career. Advanced gum disease, bone loss, tooth loss, malocclusion... and the "allowed" accumulation of destruction now requires comprehensive rehabilitative reconstruction.

Treatment options could include full edentulation, socket grafting, bony ridge augmentation, round house implants, porcelain bridgework, metal reinforced dentures, cemented bridgework, screw retained and Zest locator retained cosmetic dentures.

Periodontitis Bone Tooth Bite Loss
Cumulative Bone Gum Tooth and Bite Loss
Corinne Scalzitti, DMD

Too much tongue! Normally, our tongues are hidden in a routine smile.

A mid 60's male with a long history of too many extractions and patchwork dentistry that didn't have a "catch up" quality. As the years wore on.... the fewer and fewer remaining teeth sustained the brunt of biting and chewing that slowly damaged remaining teeth.

Treatment choices available to this patient will include periodontal treatments, selective extractions, bone leveling, precision placement of dental implants, choices of new prosthetic teeth, recreation of vertical dimension to overcome collapsed bite and optimization of his new bite.

Bone Tooth Bite Loss
Cumulative Bone and Tooth Loss
Christopher McFarland, DMD

A 60 year old male with an accumulation of crown failurs, bone loss, occlusal (bite) wear and tear, loss of tooth and bite height (loss of vertical dimension accenturates the aging process), gum disease issues and gum recession.

The apparent size differences of the front central teeth compared to other tooth structures indicates the amount of tooth height lost over the years.

Treatment choices available to this patient will include periodontal disease treatment, custom denture partials, teeth whitening and dental crowns.

60 Year old worn down teeth
60 Years of Wear and Tear
Kristin Petulla, DDS

As grotesque as these teeth initially appear, this type of situation is more common than most people would like to believe. Years and years of purposeful neglect (allocating financial resources to family first) almost routinely causes this degree of degradation.

Baby Boomers who reach this point typically are at the point where financial resources are now made available for the parent. Luckily, today's advancements in procedure, instrumentation and dental products now provide patients with more choices that can create a cosmetic and functional outcome that looks and feels just like what Mother Nature can provide.

Severe Treatment Delay
Cumulative Effects of Delayed Treatment
An Extreme Example
Ara Nazarian, DDS

Nice moustache.... bad teeth. Lots of missing teeth and too much time devoted to moustache grooming evidently left little time for oral health maintenance. Calculus, tartar, untreated extractions have taken their toll... to the extent that super eruptions are occuring where no opposing teeth exist.

For adults entering middle aged status, these cumulative needs are not out of the ordinary. The patient will have a full menu of treatment option choices that can involve one or more of: extractions, bone grafting, crown lengthening, implants, fixed and/or removable prosthetics.

Broken Teeth Super Eruption Gum Disease
Cumulative Effects of Delayed Treatment
An Extreme Example
Jeffrey Hoss, DMD

This is a good example to demonstrate how easily natural teeth can yellow with age while porcelain restorations do not. The restorations, however, show different signs of age and stages of disrepair. Porcelain falling off of a crown (occlusion), crown leakage, minor gum recession at crown margins and possible amalgam staining.

Nonetheless, overall bone and soft tissue health is pretty good. This 60 something year old boomer should be able to select from a wide range of possible treatments that can recreate a smile that belongs to a 30 year old. Creative uses of implants, crowns, bridgwork, veneers, teeth whitening or designer grade partials shouldn't be difficult to implement.

Yellow Teeth Failed Crowns Occlusion
60 Year Old Male
Christopher McFarland, DMD

With the exception of the missing anterior teeth that have caused super eruption of the lower anteriors, these kinds of dental conditions are not uncommmon for many older adults who are playing "catch up." Unfortunately, even mild versions of gum disease can accelerate when no treatment at all is being provided. Tooth roots become uncovered, sensitivity increases and loss of critcal bone tissue complicates overall treatment planning.

This patient has begun a reconstructive program of services that will replace major blocks of bone (with harvested bone), selective tooth replacements via dental implants and the re-growing of gum tissue with specialized alloderm tissue grafts.

Boomers Perio Gum Disease Tissue Loss
Bone - Gums - Tooth Loss
Richard Winter, DDS, MAGD

Who would have thought? Older adults have "flavors" of acid erosion just like younger patients who are addicted to energy drinks and soda pop.. but for different reasons. Medication or drug induced xerostomia, dry mouth, erratic ph values and poor oral hygiene habits cause this kind of enamel damage in all patients, including the boomers.

Reconstruction and restoration of the patient's original bite will be achieved with premium porcelain crowns, creating a new, full complement of teeth that competes with what Mother Nature originally provided.

Enamel Acid Erosion in Boomers
Enamel - Acid Erosion in Boomers
Dr Chris McFarland, Atlanta GA.

A striking example of how bone loss can develop when a dental implant isn't used within specific time period. This patient at one time was seeking an upper bridge for the central incisor are but, for good reason (at the time), kept using the temporary bridge that was created. Bone loss and soft tissue recession occured at the implant site, along with other aesthetic changes.

Orthodontic treatment was also obtained causing significant bite problems. The patient will be able to select the use of ortho treatments to correct the alignment and occlusal features of his bite, along with bone grafting, implants or bridgework to restore the central incisor area.

Bone Soft Tissue Loss Bridge Implant Failure
Malocclusion - Implant Failure - Bone Loss
Overuse of a Temporary Bridge
Ara Nazarian, DDS

Unfortunately there are many patients who tend to use a "crisis oriented" method for dealing with common dental issues. This photo represents the common situation where teeth are inadedquately treated... leading, in this case, to an upper denture being placed.

Financial issues too often are a significant factor in getting timely treatments that can keep teeth healthy and functional. For this patient, the factors causing removal of the upper jaw teeth are now impacting the lower jaw. Treatment options could include a cantilevered fixed bridge or denture prosthetic.

Avoiding Basic Treatment
Crisis Dentistry and Denture Prosthetics
Ara Nazarian, DDS

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