People keeping their teeth for longer

Consumers are keeping their own teeth for longer, making more work for private and cosmetic dentists around the country, it has been claimed.

Dr Phil Stemmer, from the Teeth for Life centre in London, said that rather than resorting to teeth extraction and dentures, older people are increasingly opting for cosmetic procedures such as whitening, crowns and veneers.

"We now know how to save teeth," he explained. "There is no reason ever for you to lose a tooth. The teeth are staying in and therefore there's more work."

Dr Stemmer revealed that many people who already have dentures and bridges are now having these replaced with implants, providing a much more comfortable long-term solution.

The expert also issued a word of caution against cheap teeth whitening solutions and urged people who are considering this option to discuss their wishes with a reputable dentist.

"Many of the over-the-counter whitening treatments have got very high acidity and can do damage to the teeth," he explained.

"But if you go and see a dentist and they use the right material, it will not do damage and it will do the job properly."

Dr Stemmer's comments follow those recently made by Professor Damien Walmsley.

The scientific adviser to the British Dental Association told the BBC that NHS dentists would face a major challenge to cope with the consequences of the UK's ageing population.

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People keeping their teeth for longer
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