Missing teeth can affect your quality of life in multiple ways. The problems they cause go beyond the cosmetic aspect – the consequences to your oral health can be serious.
According to the Australian Government Department of Health, 1 in 25 people (aged 15 and over) have no natural teeth left.
“Missing teeth not only have serious oral health effects, but also psychological ones. Replacing them should be a priority,” says Dr. Katrina Zhao, Principal Dentist and Managing Director at Midas Dental.
Luckily, modern dentistry has the perfect long-term fix: dental implants.
Why dental implants?
Dental implants are the best solution for replacing missing teeth. They act as prosthetic tooth roots and function, feel and look just like your natural teeth.
A dental implant looks like a screw – most commonly made of titanium – that is placed in the jawbone to replace the missing tooth. Over time, bone grows around the implant, restoring the structure and functioning of your jaw.
Here are four life-changing benefits of replacing missing teeth:
1. Improve social status and confidence
Whether we like it or not, the physical appearance of your smile has wider social consequences for your life. And it goes beyond being self-conscious about your appearance and facing self-esteem issues.
A survey by YouGov for the British Dental Association (BDA) found that 77% of respondents agreed that bad breath and decayed or missing teeth would dramatically hinder a job applicant’s chances of securing employment, especially in public or client-facing roles.
Especially when a front tooth is missing, it becomes an even bigger issue in getting a job. After all, when we’re drawing a villain, we almost always think of someone toothless!
Add to that the lack of confidence, and getting a job gets even harder.
2. Better nutrition
Missing teeth lead to improper biting and chewing, which are sometimes painful.
And think of all the healthy foods that are hard – and hard to chew. Nuts, seeds, meat, and collard greens are some of the most nutritious foods we can eat, and they all need proper chewing.
But when you’re missing teeth, you might also be missing out on the health benefits of these foods – simply because you avoid them!
Also, improper chewing leads to poor digestion, which has its own series of problems.
3. Prevent damage to other teeth
Healthy teeth work together as a whole. When even just one is missing, it causes harm to the rest.
Think about the way the bite works. The upper and lower teeth are in contact with each other, and healthy teeth are perfectly aligned to support one another. When one tooth is missing, the above or below tooth loses contact with its “partner.”
This can lead to extruded teeth (a tooth coming loose in its socket) that, in time, can lead to decay.
4. Avoid a deteriorating jawbone
The underlying jawbone quickly deteriorates when you’re missing a tooth, putting your facial structure at risk.
Even worse, it can give your face a sunken look, making you look older. No one wants that!
That happens because missing teeth result in bone loss – and subsequently, a shrinking jawbone. The tooth that was supposed to be there and support the whole structure is no longer present.
Missing teeth make it difficult to maintain oral hygiene and affect your confidence, overall health, and quality of life. Dental implants offer numerous advantages, and their price is worth the investment. Remember: prevention is key, so make sure you floss regularly and brush your teeth twice daily for 2 minutes each time with fluoride toothpaste.
Featured Photo by LOGAN WEAVER | @LGNWVR on Unsplash