Like most, I grew up being taught the value of a hard-earned dollar, learning early that “money doesn’t grow on trees.” This is what prompts us to carefully weigh the long-term value of the purchases we make. Getting the most from our dollars begins with opting for what will give us the best outcome long-term.
As a dentist, providing our patients with the best value in smile options has always been my goal. This includes tooth replacement options. Over the years, I’ve seen how tooth loss is actually a debilitating problem for many people.
Think about it… losing teeth can lead to problems while eating. This is the result of bone shrinkage (known as ‘resorption’) that occurs when tooth roots are no longer present in the bone.
When dentures or partials are first made, they are shaped to ‘wrap’ existing contours in the mouth. However, bone loss flattens the foundation, changing the snug hold of dentures and partials. This can lead to uncomfortable rubbing on tender gum tissues, causing many people to chew food less or resort to softer foods with less fiber.
Feeling debilitated due to tooth loss doesn’t end with a compromised diet. Tooth loss can also create psychological problems for some people. One way this was brought to light was presented at a 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research, held in conjunction with an annual meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research.
During the meeting, a research study was presented on findings that depression and anxiety are associated with tooth loss. In the study, researchers used data gathered in 2010 through The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Survey. This survey encompassed responses from over 451,000, of which more than 76,000 had experienced tooth loss.
Of those who were missing teeth, almost 17 percent reported depression and over 13 percent reported anxiety. Study participants were all over 19 years of age and there was an even representation of males and females. The sample also had a balance of ethnic groups, with approximately 68 percent whites, 13 percent blacks, 12 percent Hispanics, and 6 percent other.
Comparatively of all those surveyed, depression and anxiety were significantly different in tooth loss participants versus those without the condition. (Learn more about this survey at: International & American Associations for Dental Research. “Tooth loss linked to depression, anxiety.” ScienceDaily, 20 March 2014. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140320111903.htm
Because of the advantages to both physical and psychological well-being, many people are opting for dental implants over dentures and partials. Being so ‘ideal’ as far as a tooth replacement option, why don’t all individuals choose dental implants?
Because the fees for dental implants are all ‘up front,’ many people perceive them as a more expensive option. Although implants may seem, initially, more costly than dentures or partials, they are actually a far better investment for a number of reasons.
1). After a dental implant is placed and the final teeth attached, your investment is intended to last your lifetime. And, dental implants have one of the highest of all implant-in-bone success rates — up to 98 percent by some estimates.
2). Because Dental implants are constructed from a material that biologically bonds with living bone (known as titanium), they are not rejected by the body. This means that once the implant is placed in the jaw bone, it can be depended on to serve as a stable tooth root replacement.
3). The teeth attached to implants do not experience cavities, need root canals, or cause problems for neighboring teeth. Although having all treatment costs upfront can make dental implants appear as a larger investment, dental implants are actually a savings when considering the future expenses to maintain other tooth replacement options.
4). Because dental implants are held in your bone, they recreate stimulation needed to help the jaw bones sustain mass. This halts the process of bone loss and its associated problems.
5). Without the process of bone loss, you are also able to avoid associated changes in facial appearance. These include deep wrinkles around the mouth, the formation of jowls, a pointed chin, and a mouth that appears to sink inward.
6). Since dental implants have the same, sturdy foundation that natural teeth enjoy, implants do not reply on neighboring teeth to support replacement teeth (as with crown-&-bridge combinations).
7). With dental implants, having the same foundation of natural teeth – the jaw bone – they are able to restore dependable biting and chewing. You can eat all the foods you love again and enjoy a healthy, satisfying diet.
Considering dental implants? Begin with a no-charge consultation by calling 910-254-4555. During this time, I’ll explain options that may be best for your needs and goals. If desired, our Financial Coordinator will also meet with you to discuss ways you can make easy monthly payments for implant treatment, often without a down payment and no interest charged.