Written By Jennifer Raskin / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Little children are always delighted when they lose a tooth. “Now the Tooth Fairy will come!” they exclaim with glee, placing it under the pillow in hopes of collecting more than $1. But once you hit adulthood, losing a tooth isn’t a moneymaker from a fictitious fairy. It can be a costly problem that will affect you in more ways than one.
Sometimes, adults lose teeth when playing sports or in an accident. Other times, there are medical conditions or poor oral hygiene at work that lead to tooth loss. Perhaps you’re relieved with how wearing masks during the pandemic can cover up a missing tooth in your smile, but you should visit your dentist to correct your smile after tooth loss.
According to Harvard Medical School, most Americans will lose 12 of those 32 permanent teeth by way of gum disease, tooth decay, or injury. It’s not just a problem of aesthetics either. With missing teeth, your bite will change and your jawbone will weaken.
You don’t have to wait for all of them to fall out and go for dentures though. You can choose from implants and bridges to fill the gap and restore your smile.
What Are Implants?
If you are only missing one tooth, an implant is a better option. In order to be considered a viable candidate for one, your dentist needs to make sure there is enough bone where that implant will be installed so it can be properly supported. If not, your dentist will use bone or a similar material during surgery. After that heals, which takes months, you will then be checked again to see if your mouth is ready for that implant.
When the bone is ready, your dentist will then install a titanium screw which will function as the tooth root. You’ll wait several weeks while your jawbone grows around it and your gums heal. Once all this is complete, you dentist will get your implant in place with a porcelain crown created to look like the rest of your teeth.
What Are Bridges?
If you’re missing several teeth, you’ll be better off with a bridge. It’s a metal frame with fake teeth fused to it. This frame is then jointed to supports which can either be implants or healthy teeth that have crowns. The more teeth that you need to replace, the more you’ll need anchors from your natural teeth or implants to keep it supported.
One version, the Maryland bridge, can be attached via a thin metal or ceramic strip that is glued to the back of surrounding teeth. This option is used should you be missing one tooth in the front of your mouth where a normal implant wouldn’t fit.
Getting implants are far more complex and complicated than getting a bridge, however, with both you’ll be making lots of trips to the dentist. Neither option is cheap but dental insurance will usually cover many of the expenses. You should discuss your options with your dentist and insurance carrier.
One of the best things you can do to avoid these woes is to take good care of your teeth now. While you might not be able to prevent accidents, you can prevent tooth decay by staying on top of your oral hygiene.
Looking for a 100% all-natural liquid tooth oil and mouth rinse? Check out OraMD Original Strength and OraMD Extra Strength. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources make sure to check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Jennifer Raskin is a freelance writer, wife and mom that loves cold weather despite her location in Florida, cooking, reading, watching ‘80s movies, weight-lifting, and wine tasting.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.