Here at Seaman Family Dentistry in Lenexa, Ks we provide comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages. Dr. Robert Seaman has over 30 years of experience in all types of dental care, but he truly enjoys providing the services which seniors are typically most interested in: quality crowns, bridges, dentures, restorations over implants, and cosmetic services for mature adults. Not only are crown and bridge services among his favorite to provide, Dr. Seaman also taught at UMKC Dental School in the crown and bridge lab for 7 years. So if you are looking for high quality dental care provided in a friendly, service oriented manner, then you have found the right dentist and the right staff.
Common Dental Issues Concerning Seniors
As you age, your teeth and gums become increasingly susceptible to dental problems. Not only do teeth seem to decay more quickly, but previous dental work begins to fail or break and gum disease is far more common. If you have always maintained your teeth and gums and kept up with dental care throughout your adult years, these areas may not be your biggest concern right now. Instead, you may be more concerned with the appearance of your teeth changing, increased problems with snoring, jaw issues causing grinding and wearing of your teeth, or in many cases the medications you are now taking causing dry mouth and increasing your rate of tooth decay.
Below are common questions asked by seniors about dental problems or conditions they are experiencing. If the question you have is not found below, please give us a call or email us, we are here to assist you with all aspects of dentistry.
How do I know when it is time to get dentures?
First, not everyone has to get dentures, many people are able to repair and keep their natural teeth for their entire lifetime – even those who live to be over 90. If you think you may need dentures, the best thing to do is to schedule a complete examination with x-rays. Once we know the condition of your teeth and the amount of bone support remaining around your teeth, then we can give you a complete treatment plan and advise you on whether any teeth need to be removed and replaced or if it is possible to restore the teeth.
I have dentures, but I don’t like to wear them. What can I do?
You need to see a dentist to evaluate the problem. It is vital that you are able to properly chew your food, your digestion and health can be significantly impacted if you do not have a set of teeth which function properly. It could be as simple as adjustments to make them fit better or they may need to be replaced. If you just do not like wearing dentures in general then you may need to look at other options for replacing your missing teeth. Besides different types of dentures, there are other options using implants and bridgework, to provide you with the teeth you need. You should call us and schedule an appointment so Dr. Robert Seaman can examine your current dentures and discuss the issues you are having as well as the options to solving this problem.
If I have full dentures, do I still need to visit the dentist for exams and X-rays?
Yes! If you have traditional dentures which are not supported by existing teeth or implants, you need to see a dentist at least once a year. It is vital for you to continue to receive oral cancer screenings and for the bone supporting your dentures to be examined. As dentures wear down or the bone support lessens, serious jaw problems can result if these problems are not caught in time. But, if you have dentures which attach to existing teeth or implants, then you need to be seen at least twice a year for examinations and x-rays, plus your existing teeth or implants also need to be professionally cleaned every 3 or 6 months. If you are due for an examination, please give us a call so we can find a convenient appointment time for you.
Are there different types of dentures that would allow me to eat a steak dinner again?
Yes. The type of secured denture which will work best for you will depend on many factors. If you would like to learn more about the denture solutions we offer, visit our Dentures page for more information and short videos. In order to determine the options which will work for you, call us to schedule a full examination and x-rays with Dr. Robert Seaman and you will be that much closer to the ability to eat what you want!
I am limited in what I can eat because, I am missing teeth and/or have other teeth that are loose, what should I do?
You need to schedule a full examination and x-rays at Seaman Family Dentistry so we can determine the best course of action for your dental health. Maintaining a healthy diet is extremely important to your overall health, so you need to address this problem sooner rather than later. Visit our Replace Missing Teeth page for more information on this subject or watch this short video about options for replacing missing teeth.
Missing Teeth: Options for Replacing Missing Teeth
What can I do to make my teeth look younger and healthier?
The most important thing you can do is to keep them clean and healthy with regular dental check-ups and cleanings, so if it has been longer than 6 months since your last preventive dental visit, then call us to schedule an appointment. Once your teeth are clean and any cavities have been taken care of, you can look at other options to change the appearance of your teeth. It really depends on whether you are concerned about the appearance of your natural teeth, denture teeth, or teeth which have previous fillings or old crowns. The solutions can vary from simple teeth whitening to brighten your teeth to utilizing multiple services to create a new smile for yourself. The good news is, it is never too late and you are never too old to have a great smile, you can actually call us today and schedule a complementary Smile Consultation with Dr. Robert Seaman, so you can discuss your specific conditions and what can be done to provide you with a more youthful healthier smile! We also have a video below which specifically discusses the effects aging has on the appearance of teeth.
A Beautiful Smile: A Youthful Smile
I have so many problems with my teeth, where do I start?
Your first step should be to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive examination, x-rays and oral hygiene evaluation. Then, Dr. Robert Seaman and our hygienist can perform a thorough oral evaluation to determine which issues are affecting your oral health. From there, a customized treatment plan can be designed for you – to restore or replace your teeth and return your smile to its full health. Once the treatment plan is ready, we can get to work on repairing and/or replacing your teeth so you can be happy with your smile and reassured that your teeth and gums are once again healthy. If you doing everything you need all at once is not feasible, due to time or cost concerns, we can also break down your plan so you can do it one step at a time and discuss various financial options with you. The important thing is to start with an initial appointment, so email or call us today to find a convenient time for you. Let us take the mystery out of your situation and get you on the road to a happier, healthier smile.
I never had the money for braces when I was younger. Is it too late to straighten my teeth?
No it is not. Visit our page on Adult Orthodontics to learn more about your options. It is important that your teeth and gums are healthy prior to starting any form of orthodontic treatment, so if you have not seen a dentist in over 6 months or you know you have other dental problems, please contact us to schedule a complete dental check-up and cleaning. You can also discuss the options available for straightening your teeth while you are in the office.
My spouse complains about my snoring, is there really something a dentist can do to help with this problem?
Yes! At Seaman Family Dentistry you can have a snoring appliance made, which you wear at night. It stops the snoring problem, by adjusting your bite during sleep, to create more space in your airway – so you breathe easier and silently. Call us today to schedule an appointment for this service, the sooner you do, the sooner you, and your spouse, will be sleeping quietly and soundly.
How can I stop my jaws from aching in the morning?
Morning jaw pain may be a sign of bruxism (grinding your teeth together), when you do this at night, many times without knowing you are doing it, you can wake with sore, tired jaws. This condition can also lead to headaches during the day as you may also tend to clinch your teeth together without realizing it. At Seaman Family Dentistry we can provide you with a night guard to lessen or stop the grinding and protect your teeth from excessive wear, which can result if this condition continues over a long period of time. If you feel this is a problem for you, contact us to schedule an appointment to determine if a night guard is what you need to wake more comfortably each morning.
My teeth are sensitive when eating or drinking, can anything be done to lessen the sensitivity?
It is important to know why your teeth are sensitive, as the treatment to correct this condition is different, depending on the cause. If you have been seeing a dentist for regular exams and cleanings at least every 6 months and have not been informed you have any decay or untreated gum disease AND the sensitivity does not just involve a single tooth, then you have two options with may help.
1. You can use a prescription strength fluoride paste or gel regularly which helps strengthen the outer layer of the tooth, lessening sensitivity.
2. You can have regular fluoride varnish treatments, this type of in-office fluoride treatment can decrease sensitivity for months after it is applied.
We also have another page on Sensitivity Problems, to provide more information on this common issue. Now, if you are experiencing sensitivity in certain teeth or it has been more than 6 months since you have had a full dental examination and x-rays, then you need to be seen by a dentist as there is likely to be a problem which needs to be addressed. If you wait too long the sensitivity can turn into lingering discomfort or even a throbbing pain, so call us today to schedule a complete examination with Dr. Robert Seaman and let’s find out what is at the root of your sensitivity issues.