What’s the Cost of Tooth Loss?
You’re probably aware of some of the consequences of missing teeth. Maybe you feel as though your smile isn’t as attractive as it once was, or maybe you have developed the habit of hiding your teeth when you smile. Perhaps you simply avoid smiling or talking as much as possible. Missing teeth can ruin your self-confidence and interfere with your interactions with your friends and neighbors in Scottsbluff. If this sounds familiar, then you’ve got some important reasons to consult a dentist about your options.
If you feel embarrassed about having the dentist look at your smile, just remember that more than 35 million people are currently living with missing teeth. Also, remind yourself that the consequences of tooth loss aren’t just cosmetic. Eating a nutritious meal can be a true challenge without a complete set of strong, functional teeth. Without enough teeth, you may tend to avoid raw fruits and vegetables that are difficult to chew, and your health can suffer tremendously as a result.
Besides your appearance and your nutritional health, tooth loss comes with another serious consequence: bone loss. Few people realize this, but without teeth, the bone of the jaw begins to melt away. The bone loss becomes more severe the longer the teeth are missing. The jaw bone not only supports your teeth, it also supports your facial features. Without it, the cheeks and lips begin to look saggy and the face appears to slowly collapse. The result is a sad facial appearance that makes you look years older.
Bone loss also makes it more difficult for the dentist to replace your teeth with dental implants. The cost of dental implants and the need for related surgical procedures can skyrocket when substantial bone loss has occurred. Fortunately, once they are in place, dental implants can actually stop your bone loss from progressing. Implants are the only known tooth replacement solution that can stimulate the jaw bone in that way that your natural teeth once did.