Dental Age

Dr. Oz on the Oprah Winfrey Show talks about Real Age in which our behaviors affect our wellbeing. For example, we all know that what we eat and regular exercise can improve our vitality and lifespan while smoking or not wearing seat belts can reduce the quality or even shorten our life. For years I have talked to my patients about the concept of chronologic age vs. “dental age”. Chronologic age is based on our birth date, but dental age is based on our level of dental health. A twenty year old typically has a full complement of teeth, with minimal repairs, unworn, good bone level below the gums, etc. It would be highly usual for a twenty year old to have dentures, but not so unusual for a seventy year old to have dentures. But, a seventy year old could very well have all of his teeth, in good repair, with minimal wear, and firm in the jawbone which would make his “dental age” closer to the twenty year old. The goal of modern preventive dentistry is to minimize the destructive forces that age the dentition instead of just repairing problems after they have occurred. This means that dental examinations need to be geared to determining which components are susceptible or beginning to break down and intercept to keep the teeth as close to the youthful parameters as possible. While our bodies will fail over time (Dr. Oz’s recommendations can only affect the rate of failure to a degree) our teeth can literally stay youthful until we die. Our goal as your dental professionals is to help keep you dentally as young as possible.