Dr. Craig Mitchell, DDS, and Dr. Rudy Dittrich, DDS of DeAnza Family Dentistry have been providing compassionate dental care for our senior citizens for over 30 years in the Cupertino, San Jose, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, and Los Gatos area. Elderly patients have special needs and often benefit from extra attention to create dependable and trusted healthcare options.
Beginning with easy wheelchair access and disabled parking right in front of our doorway, you will find our welcoming and knowledgeable team ready to attend to your every need. You’ll find the calm demeanor of our dentists comforting and we will never shame a patient for lack of proper care. We genuinely love helping guide our patients to improved overall health beginning with the mouth. We understand the importance of the oral-systemic connection and how the mouth is a gateway to overall health.
COMPREHENSIVE MEDICAL EXAM BY YOUR DENTIST
Beginning with a comprehensive medical history review is important to identify any contributing conditions or lifestyle situations or habits that might not be supporting ideal optimal oral health. We have found that many medications – particularly high blood pressure medication, hormonal medications, allergy medications, anti-depressants, asthma and seizure medications, and even cholesterol medications can affect the oral cavity. Certain medications can cause a condition called dry mouth (xerostomia) which lessens the amount of saliva produced minimizing the body’s defense of neutralizing sugars or acidic attacks that can cause cavities. Patients with certain medical conditions or physical limitations such as dementia, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s disease may have additional challenges with taking care of their teeth making them more susceptible to cavities, bone loss, and infections. Patients with diabetes, in particular, can have oral shifts that cause irritated gums, bone loss, periodontal disease, and frequent cavities. The dentist should be the oral physician of the mouth. Certain symptoms that we may identify in the oral tissues can imply underlying problems elsewhere in the body as well.
COMPREHENSIVE DENTAL EXAM FOR ELDERLY PATIENTS
Once we have completed reviewing your medical condition, we look at your dental history and our patients appreciate that we offer comfortable panoramic x-rays which allow us to see our entire jaw in a single view. Being able to look at the bigger picture, while finding more about your dental history of previous care gives us a better understanding of your needs going forward. If a patient has frequent cavities, we can look at the multitude of reasons from the diet, home care, medications, quality of prior dental work, and overall health to provide a better long-term solution. Patients with loose dentures might be able to be helped with dental implants to stabilize them. During your dental exam, we will be evaluating the health of your gums, checking for gum recession, look for excessive wear on your teeth, loose teeth, bone loss, decay around the edges of old fillings and crowns, evaluate for dry mouth, and check for loose or poor-fitting dentures. We will also conduct a head and neck exam for oral cancer screening.
CHOOSING A DENTIST WHO CATERS TO SENIORS
We understand that choosing a new dentist can sometimes be intimidating, which is why DeAnza Family Dentistry has been so successful for over 30 years in Silicon Valley. Patients choose us for our humble, yet dependable convenient services, coupled with our gentle approach to patient care. We feel that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and deserves to have the access to optimal oral health. Our commitment is to see our patients on time, treat them with respect, while providing reliable problem-free dentistry. You will never feel rushed or pressured in our office. We only schedule one patient at a time and you will never feel like you are “just a number” in a clinic. Years of smoking, poor oral habits, a bad diet, and certain medications, can take their toll on your teeth. We will make sure to help identify these issues and point them out to help steer your oral health in the right direction. We can also guide you as the best oral care products to use at home to help with home-care.
DENTAL SERVICES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
We provide a full range of services from cleanings and exams, to restorative treatment such as fillings and crowns as well as dentures and partial dentures. We even offer cosmetic services to our seniors such as teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and full mouth reconstruction. Another concern that many adults have is snoring and sleep apnea. We can assist in guiding you to the correct solutions to address this as it can be potentially a sign of a health risk-associated condition. We understand the value of being able to eat and chew your food well as well as to smile with confidence, which is why we work closely with a selected team of local specialists nearby to provide more advanced services such as orthodontics, dental implants, root canals, and extractions. We have found that having regular preventive care check-ups is the best thing you can do to preserve the health of your teeth. This is even important for patients who wear dentures, because over time, they can begin to fit poorly due to bone loss and sore spots can occur from chronic irritation. In some instances, we may suggest replacing them with a better fitting denture or partial denture. In other cases, a dental implant may be indicated to help support and stabilize the bone and or a denture to improve both chewing and preserve the bone.
According to both the National Center for Health Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 out of every 5 adults over the age of 65 have untreated cavities, and 2 out of every 3 have some level of gum disease. Skipping regular dental care can lead to many additional preventable situations. It’s never too late to begin healing and restoring your mouth. Our mission is to help provide easy access to our local seniors so they can confidently and successfully maintain optimal oral health. Forgoing regular care can have long-term consequences. In addition to the direct consequences of affecting your ability to eat and speak, it can affect one’s confidence and mental well-being. Tooth loss can affect your overall nutrition. In addition, poor periodontal health has been shown to be a factor in putting you at higher risk for heart attack, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, and uncontrolled diabetes.
SENIOR DENTAL CARE NEAR ME
It’s important not only to find the right dentist but also one that is close and convenient. We work closely with many local eldercare facilities that provide transportation to our office. Conveniently located just off DeAnza Boulevard in Cupertino, close to Stevens Creek Blvd. (centrally located between Hwy 85 and Hwy 280) in Silicon Valley, our office attracts patients from Mountain View, Palo Alto, Campbell, Milpitas, and Hayward.
FINANCIAL OPTIONS FOR SENIORS NEEDING DENTAL CARE
We try to not let financial restrictions stand in the way of helping our patients who have missing teeth, multiple decayed teeth, broken fillings, or a poor-fitting denture get the care they need. As a result, we offer many options for financing at our office. We will be happy to submit any dental insurance for you to keep things simple. In addition, we have third-party options that can offer you payments that fit within your budget. While most basic Medicare plans do not cover dental services, some Medicaid Advantage plans may. Our front desk team will be happy to provide a complimentary plan benefit check in advance of your visit if you have any questions about your coverage.
HOME DENTAL CARE FOR SENIORS
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after meals and before bedtime can go a long way to good oral hygiene. Include daily flossing to get those areas the toothbrush can’t reach. Use a fluoridated toothpaste or rinse. Drink plenty of water – typically trying to get at least 4-6 glasses a day to keep your body hydrated will be helpful. Consider artificial saliva replacements if you have dry mouth. There are also moisturizing oral rinses that can help. Finally, maintain regular check-ups with your dentist.
HOW TO BEST PREPARE FOR YOUR DENTAL VISIT
We can email you a copy of our new patient form to complete in advance or you can even download it online in our FORMS section of the website. Because of the current health concerns and for your safety, we space out our patient’s appointments to allow plenty of time to disinfect our operatories as well as minimize any interaction with other patients. We ask you to call from your car (408-255-9422) when you arrive and we will let you know when we are ready for you. If you come with a family member or relative, we may ask them to drop you off and stay in the car for extra safety, unless you need them to help translate or move you around.
Many of our geriatric patients are taking several medications. Because of this, we encourage you to bring with you a current written list of ALL YOUR MEDICATIONS AND SUPPLEMENTS and the dosages, since it can be challenging trying to remember what you may be taking from your medical doctor. Bring a list of any medical conditions or allergies you have, along with the contact information for your primary medical health care providers. Be sure to bring your insurance cards or appliances, such as dentures, partials, snore guards, or night guards, etc. that you may have.
We look forward to meeting you and providing you with excellent care!
Give our Cupertino Dental office a call today! 408-255-9422