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This article brought to you courtesy of Dr. Alan Neal, of Dental Care of Canby, Canby Herald Insider Family Dentistry Expert.

Dr. Alan Neal, DMD, FAGD

I hear this statement a lot. My dental practice has been around a while (40+ years). Majority of my patients are over the age of 50, over 20% are over the age of 70. Typically, I have a "new" patient between the ages of 68 to 74, I will recommend any treatment, and then I hear, "Doc, I don't know if I will be around much longer." I usually say something, like, "I'm a dentist--that question is a little out of my wheelhouse."

However, here are some facts I do know: The average life expectancy of Americans is 85 (it's dipped a year since Covid-19). And another fun fact, the closer you get to age 85 in good health the more likely you are going to live past age 90.

As a dentist I am looking at younger generations who have a real high chance to live 80 to 100 years (I am not including those who choose to participate in Darwinian Tik-Tok challenges). Our early ancestors had a life expectancy of about 40 years, our teeth were only intended to last about that long. In the 1950s, only 50% of patients over the age of 50 had eight or more teeth--today 80% of people have 23 or more teeth. The most recent study shows 80% of patients had 23 teeth. I have to treat plan and educate my patients according. Through continuing education I have added a lot of tools in my tool box: implants, dentures, partials, Invisalign, and crowns. These additional services allow me to help my patients retain a full dentition. The more teeth you have the better quality of food you can consume, increasing your nutrition and overall body health.

Also, after two years of Covid, I think it is good advice to not only see your dentist but also see your Primary Care Provider for an annual check-up, bring all your medications and sit down and talk with them, reconcile all your medications and conditions. Talk to them about obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a lot of health conditions are related to OSA: hypertension, high cholesterol, risk of stroke, type II diabetes, COPD, asthma, and . For any other aches, pains, and mobility issues I would recommend meeting with a physical therapist.

Dental Care of Canby

333 N.W. 3rd Avenue

Canby, OR 97013


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