It’s comforting to think that only a handful of people are missing all of their teeth. And if you’re missing a tooth or two — at least it isn’t all of them.
Truth be told, none other than the esteemed American Dental Association says that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. And, wait for it, 35 million Americans are missing all of their teeth. You read that right. The ADA also expects those numbers to grow as the country ages. Plenty of those numbers come from right here in erudite New York City, too.
Who knew so many people were missing their teeth?
If you’re one of those statistics, you may be thinking you’d just as soon save a few dollars and NOT have that missing tooth replaced. After all, you cracked the tooth when you bit into your Aunt Bertie’s potato salad and discovered her missing earring. The tooth then needed extraction, but what’s the big deal, it’s just a missing tooth, right?
Benefits of Dental Implants
- Appearance— If you’re missing one of your front teeth, come on! Even professional hockey players get their teeth fixed! Last time we checked, GQ isn’t looking for any models missing one of their front teeth.
- Eating ability— If you’re missing a front tooth, chewing and biting can be an issue. Plus, every time you do bite into something you’re putting more pressure on the adjacent front teeth to carry the load. If you’re missing a molar chewing can be a problem. This can lead to you not eating certain foods, which can lead to gaps in your nutrition.
- Movement— Your teeth that live next to your missing tooth now no longer have any pressure from the tooth next to them to stay in place. Without that pressure, the adjacent teeth like to slide over into the gap (kind of like a crowded bleacher when one person leaves to go to the concession stand). That makes for some lovely alignment issues, which can create bite issues, which can lead to TMJ disorders.
- Jawbone Loss— If you’re missing a tooth or a couple of teeth you’re also placing a bet on your jawbone, and it’s a losing bet. You see, the teeth take the enormous force generated when biting and chewing and they transfer that energy directly down through the teeth into the jawbone they are anchored in. That energy signals the jawbone to keep producing new bone cells, shedding old ones. That’s what you call regeneration, and that’s what keeps your jawbone healthy and full-sized. When there isn’t any stimulation coming down through that missing tooth, the jawbone beneath it begins to deteriorate. Over time, that deterioration can become dramatic and that area of your face can begin to collapse inward.
- Implants are like teeth, only with a little titanium— A dental implant with its titanium base accepted and integrated into the jawbone behaves exactly like a natural tooth. You can eat whatever you want. Caring for them is no different than your regular teeth.
Schedule a Consultation
Leaving a missing tooth to its own devices isn’t the best idea. Call us at Prosthodontics of New York. We know our way around the best tooth replacement option, the dental implant. Call us at (212) 758-9690 to make your appointment.