If estimates from the American College of Prosthodontics are accurate, roughly 178 million people across the United States of America have at least one tooth missing. That’s an incredibly sobering statistic that represents a major health failure on a national level. For while a single missing tooth might not seem like a major problem at first glance, its significance foes well beyond aesthetics. Before you accept the loss of a tooth, it’s important to consider the real cost involved in any decision to forgo replacement treatment.
Bone loss is one of the most serious negative consequences that can result from the failure to seek implants, bridges, or dentures to replace missing teeth. The void left behind due to a missing tooth leaves roots exposed and can result in deterioration of the jawbone. Over time, that causes weakening of the entire dental structure, placing nearby teeth at risk of loss too. Worse, when you fail to correct the problem, you can leave yourself vulnerable to gum disease.
The loss of a tooth can impact dental function as well. It can suddenly be more difficult to eat certain types of food, as missing teeth make chewing and biting more challenging. That can cause you to either develop poor chewing habits or stop eating foods that need to be bitten into and chewed. Many people who lose teeth begin to focus on softer foods just to avoid the problem, and that can result in poor nutrition that impacts other areas of health.
Loss of Self-Esteem
Aesthetics do matter, and your appearance directly impacts your feelings of self-worth. Low self-esteem can affect everything from your confidence at work and in social settings to your willingness to smile, communicate with others, or venture forth into public. In some instances, missing teeth can even alter your speech patterns and pronunciation.
Increased Repair Costs in the Future
There can also be a financial impact incurred when you ignore missing teeth for any stretch of time. While dental repairs can be costly, the expenses that accrue as damage increases over time can cause those costs to rise considerably. The best time to address problems is right away, before the damage is so severe that the expense multiples.
The good news is that you can get your missing teeth replaced, using a variety of different dental treatments. Dentures, bridges, and implants can each provide a solution to your tooth loss issues, depending on your situation and individual need. Your dentist can work with you to determine which option is best for you.
At Ebenezer Dental, we are committed to helping patients just like you protect their dental health so that their teeth and gums can last a lifetime. If you’ve lost a tooth and haven’t yet corrected the problem, we can help you get the treatment you need to prevent additional damage in the future. To learn more about how the best dentist in midtown Manhattan can assist you with all your dental needs, contact us today.