Having one or more missing teeth is stressful in more ways than one. First, there are the possible difficulties of chewing, drinking, speaking, and smiling. Second, there is the mental health toll of embarrassment and shame that comes from hiding your smile while avoiding face-to-face conversations. Third, there is a cost component to consider regarding your budget. If you’re missing one or more teeth and are tired of hiding your smile and avoiding certain foods, you’re likely ready for a dental implant.
I’m Missing a Tooth Does it Warrant an Implant
This is something you should discuss with your dentist but let’s consider it for a moment. From a strictly aesthetic point of view, a missing tooth in the molar areas may go unnoticed by anyone except yourself. Apart from being an aesthetic issue, missing molars can lead to difficulties chewing and enjoying all sorts of different foods. When one tooth is missing, it puts additional strain on the surrounding teeth and the entire gum area. The remaining teeth must then fill the “gap” and wind up doing more work. If you’re missing a molar on the right side, for example, you may avoid chewing certain types of food on that side.
So, the jaw opposite the missing molar ends up doing more work and can lead to pain and discomfort as you chew unevenly. Do this for long enough and you can weaken the opposite jaw and the teeth on that side from wear and tear. Our mouths have evolved to chew evenly and across both sides, on the top and bottom of our mouths. When one side is missing one or more teeth, the entire mouth structure suffers.
The same applies to an Incisor or front tooth but for different reasons. You will have a tough time smiling without embarrassment as it’s clearly visible, but from a functional standpoint, you’ll have difficulty tearing meat and other types of food. Forget eating baby back ribs with missing front teeth or incisors, and this is only one example.
Missing Teeth is More Common than You may Think
It’s easy to feel embarrassed about missing one or more teeth, but hold on a second! Getting a tooth pulled or having a tooth extracted is one of the most common dental practices across the modern world. There are loads of different factors that wear down the health of our teeth over time. This includes:
- Genetic factors and predisposition to cavities and weak enamel or receding gums. If you have a family history of poor teeth, you may need a tooth pulled or have cavities no matter how careful you are to practice proper dental hygiene.
- Modern diets are full of refined sugars, fats, and acids. Sugar has found its way into nearly every consumable product marketed to children, teens, and even adults. We also live in a society of snacking and consumption. This means our teeth are constantly under the stress of sugar and acid.
- Coffee and wine stain teeth but also break down enamel. Like your morning coffee? Who doesn’t!? Enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner? Us to! But these will break down teeth over time and this is just a part of life.
Our teeth, jaws, and mouth are some of the most used parts of our bodies if not the most used. Teeth are actually much harder than our bones but that doesn’t mean they are indestructible. To chip a tooth is normal, to get cavities is normal, and to have a tooth missing is more normal than you may believe. So don’t let this affect your day-to-day life and talk to your dentist regarding your options.
Dentures are a Last Resort Late in Life
You may be reading this and say, “dentures? I’m only missing 2 teeth what are they talking about?” Well, the fact is that if you leave missing teeth as they are and don’t address the problems that lead to those teeth deteriorating and needing to get pulled, you may be facing a heftier problem later in life. If you have to have all of your teeth pulled on the top or bottom, your only option left will be dentures or a dental implant for every single tooth which is just not cost-effective for most of us. The fact is, if you’re missing a tooth, don’t hesitate to get a treatment plan underway. You’ll be happy you started the process as it can take up to a few months from start to finish to replace a missing tooth with dental implant surgery.
Costs to Consider are Flexible
Dental implants are one of the more demanding dental procedures we have today but are truly a testament to how far medical dentistry has come over the years. Think about it, we lose our baby teeth and grow our permanent adult teeth at a young age. To live for 60, 70, or 80+ years with those same teeth and experience no problems are unheard of. You may be ready for a tooth replacement but have heard it’s expensive and painful. That couldn’t be further from the truth. First of all, pain is treated acutely and you will only experience a little discomfort at best. This is extremely short-term.
Costs today are more flexible than they have ever been. Considering that financing is available to those that need it and that costs are spread out for a dental implant over 2-3 different procedures, you’re more than likely able to afford it right from the start. The only way to find out is to get to the dentist and start the discussion. There may be another treatment option available to you or a cost structure that fits your budget and timer frames. The point is you won’t know unless you ask!
We’ve proudly served Kings County, Coney Island, NYC for over 40 years. Helping over 4,000+ patients receive the smile of their dreams year in and year out. We want to help you get back to a confident and robust smile, enjoying all the foods you love, and dropping the stress for good that comes with bad teeth.
Give us a call today and let’s discuss your options. We’re offering a new patient cleaning and x-ray service that will get you started at the most affordable rate in the county.