Here’s What To Do When You Have No Teeth: 8 Options

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Updated:

The majority of maturing adults lose a significant number of their teeth as they age. The elderly can completely or partially lose their teeth with aging. If any of these scenarios describe your situation, you’ll be happy to hear that tooth loss doesn’t need to be permanent as there are replacement options available.

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Teeth deteriorate with aging and although they are shielded by a heavy-duty enamel, continual wear as a result of usage can leave your set of teeth susceptible to damage. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, around 27% of elderly folk are totally edentulous (have no teeth). Taking this data into account, proper dental care among maturing adults is essential if tooth loss is to be prevented.

Viable Options To Help You Deal With Teeth Loss

If you are a senior and have been losing a large number of your teeth or have completely lost them, fret not! Here’s a range of options that can help you deal with this situation.

Dentures

Dentures are basically detachable dental fixtures that can act as a replacement for both missing teeth and adjacent tissue. They are designed to appear like actual teeth and can even accentuate your smile.

The two main kinds of dentures include:

Full Dentures

Modern-day dentures have come a long way compared to artificial teeth of days past. Made to feel and appear like real teeth, complete dentures can substitute all your sets of teeth in either your lower or upper jaw, or your entire mouth.

Dentures are detachable and affix firmly to the gum lining through suction. If you happen to have a few remaining teeth, they will have to be removed so that your dental physician can take imprints of your mouth and make your dentures.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are ideal for elders looking to replace a few missing teeth. It assists in filling the gaps left by missing teeth, prevents teeth from getting crooked due to shifting, and provides a chewing surface.

Similar to complete dentures, you can remove partial dentures during the nighttime. Your dentures can also be fabricated from cobalt chrome or strong acrylic that your physician can customize to your tooth shape for a more natural appearance.

Dental Bridge

This is a synthetic tooth fabricated from ceramic, porcelain or other heavy-duty materials that are made to feel, appear, and work like an ordinary tooth. This fixture fills the space that has been made by the lost teeth. This appliance is affixed, so dissimilar to dentures, you don’t have to detach it every day when you go to sleep. A dental bridge can substitute one tooth or multiple sets of teeth in your mouth, thereby ‘bridging’ the spaces between healthy teeth.

The dental bridge will be kept in position on both sides by healthy teeth and is mounted with crowns for additional strength. Although there are various dental bridge choices for seniors, the most popular kind is the porcelain fixed bridge since it offers a more natural esthetic.

If you’ve lost a few or a large number of your teeth but there are some good healthy teeth left over, you may be better suited for partial dentures or a dental bridge.

Dental Implants

This is yet another replacement option for seniors with missing or no teeth. It is best suited when replacing both the root and the body of teeth. There are basically two stages to a dental implant: a surgically implanted peg into the jawline and s crown that will be affixed to the peg and act as the tooth replacement.

Dental implants resemble real teeth and function the same also. When you have dental implants, you can indulge in your normal eating routine and diet. Implants are ideal when it comes to substituting a few teeth, but with the help of several pegs, a whole teeth row can be replaced. Since dental implants replace the entire root and body of a tooth, they can last the natural life of the senior.

Alternatives to Dental Hardware

Elderly folks with no teeth may find it hard to get proper nutrition since most nutritious foods come in solid form. So, if you’re not willing to use tooth replacement technologies to regain the functionality and esthetic appeal of your teeth, you can change to soft foods and liquid diets such as:

Scrambled Eggs

Protein is an essential food element to include in your senior loved one’s diet. You can change the recipe of the scrambled eggs to make them easy and tastier to eat. Try adding softened veggies like bell peppers, either pureed or in small bits before scrambling the eggs. Doing this will definitely add to the flavor and overall nutrition.

Fruit Smoothies

You can try blending frozen fruit with peanut butter, yogurt, or milk to produce a delicious beverage consisting of a good amount of fiber, calories and essential nutrients. The best part about smoothies is that there are various flavor combos that will keep the taste buds wanting more.

Pancakes

Pancakes are soft and a good food option for maturing adults with no teeth. The pancake recipe can be infused with different recipes to make the meal nutritious. This can include eggs, finely ground whole-wheat flour, bananas, milk. Fiber, protein, vitamins and, carbohydrates will all help the senior remain full and improve gut health.

Yogurt

This beverage can provide your senior with healthy fat, protein, calories that ensure your senior cherished one remains nourished. What’s more, the probiotics will help improve the digestive tract.

Conclusion

The majority of maturing adults have either lost a large number of their teeth or have entirely lost them. This can significantly impact the manner they eat and speak. No teeth can even result in poor digestion and nutrition. For this reason, it’s integral that seniors understand their options and how to deal with the situation.

If you’ve lost a considerable amount of your teeth or have no teeth, you should consult with your dental physician to discuss the options best suited for your case.

Sources:

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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