Our teeth are among the most noticeable parts of our body. While you can usually hide things like scars and discoloration on other parts of your body, damage to your teeth is much more difficult to hide. Even if you don’t smile, you will show your teeth when you speak — and if you want to work or just interact with people on a regular basis, you’ll have to open your mouth at some point. Still, those with insecurities regarding their teeth have gone to such lengths as to stay indoors more often than not, and even avoid eating in public. Nobody should feel this bad about their teeth — and one of the main conditions that causes this kind of insecurity is tooth loss. While teeth are made of enamel, the hardest substance in the human body, they’re not invincible. There are a variety of reasons why people might lose their teeth prematurely. But there are solutions to this dental problem, and visiting a family dentist could at the very least be the first step in the process of solving it. A family dentist will not judge you for your missing teeth; in fact, many family dentists are able to handle the issue on their own, as some practice oral surgery. With that being said, let’s look into why tooth loss happens, and how a family dentist can help you.
Why Does Tooth Loss Happens?
First of all, you should not feel guilty about your loss of teeth. This can happen for a number of reasons, and few people think that they will actually lose their teeth prematurely. Dental neglect and rot can contribute to the loss of teeth. Poor dental hygiene, such as failing to brush or floss, can lead to rot that is not discovered until the tooth is at a point where it is going to be lost or must be removed to preserve a person’s overall health. Most of the time, however, issues surrounding rot are discovered before the tooth has to be removed entirely. Things like smoking or chewing tobacco can contribute tooth loss. Another issue that can happen with teeth is loss as a side effect of a medical treatment. Some cancer treatments, for example, lead to the loss of teeth regularly — making a difficult process even worse. Some lose teeth in accidents. Teeth can easily be broken in a car accident, or even a bad fall. The point is that you do have options — healthy smiles can be found, even after tooth loss.
One of the options you may have heard about is the dental bridge. Dental bridges are one of the less expensive options, and have been around for a longer time than some of their competitors. Essentially, dental bridges literally bridge the gap between missing teeth, made up of crowns that will cap over the empty space or broken tooth. It’s estimated that about 15 million people in the United States have undergone dental bridge and crown replacements for broken or missing teeth. It’s simpler and less expensive, but does have its drawbacks. Crowns are good replacements for teeth that are less visible, but can be more noticeable as false — and therefore, this may not be an ideal procedure for someone missing their front teeth. Dental bridges are also less durable than some other procedures. Therefore, while they may be less expensive at first, their costs can build up over time. Still, they are valid options for those seeking solutions.
Dental implants, currently performed by about 10% of American dentists with a success rate of 98%, can actually be done with dental bridges. They are more permanent, as the name suggests, and look more realistic and natural than crowns. Dental implants can be more invasive, as the false teeth are actually implanted in the mouth. But they’re also more durable and functional — they’re meant to function for the long term.
You have the option for a healthy smile — try talking to a dentist.