As we age, so do our parents. There comes a time, for many of us, when the roles of care are reversed, and we begin to take on more responsibilities for our parents’ health and wellbeing. For many aging parents and loved ones, the topic of oral surgery will need to be addressed at some point. Understanding some common anxiety triggers, and options for tooth repair and replacement, can greatly reduce the strain of the situation on everyone involved.
Like most anxiety-producing situations, fear of the unknown is one of the most common underlying issues for oral surgery patients. Educating yourself on your dental implant options, and discussing your questions and concerns with your surgeon, are the easiest and most effective ways of combating this anxiety. For older patients, some other common concerns include:
Anxiety about pain during and after the procedure
Modern anesthetic procedures allow for some of the most pain-free oral surgery techniques in history. Discussing options for anesthesia and what can be expected during and after the surgery is a great way to reduce fears of pain and discomfort. For nearly all procedures, sedation is an option for a completely stress free experience.
Concerns about options for dentures and implants
A common misconception among elderly patients is that dentures are the only available option for improving their oral health and appearance. With modern dental implant techniques and materials, most patients can enjoy a full, permanent set of teeth that looks and feels real. Dentures should be considered a last resort, and are rarely the answer.
Financial impacts of implant procedures
When researching options for tooth replacement, patients are naturally worried about the cost of dental implants. On first glance, dental implants can appear to be an expensive option. We try to remind our patients of the cost of procrastination. The longer it takes to address existing problems, the worse they often become, particularly with needed dental care. With recent advancements in dental technology, dental implants are significantly less expensive than they were just a few years ago and are a permanent solution to the problem of missing teeth.
Discussing these topics with your parents or loved ones can help ease their mind, reduce anxiety, and allow them to feel included in the decision-making process. Dental implants can be an excellent option for many elderly patients with deteriorating oral health, and a full, healthy set of teeth can greatly improve anyone’s quality of life.