People often feel insecure about their teeth — but there’s feeling insecure about your teeth, and having serious issues with your teeth. An estimated 18% of people say that they conceal their teeth in photos, and 32% of people are concerned by the look of their teeth. The problem is that despite the fact that we might know that there are problems with our teeth — cosmetic or otherwise — we often put off going to the dentist. On average, people wait three years before going to the dentist. While sometimes this is due to expense, often people don’t go simply because they fear the dentist or find going to the dentist irritating. It’s actually much more irritating to have to visit an emergency dentist at the last minute than seeing a typical dentist on a regular basis — but if you’ve put off seeing the dentist until there’s a serious problem, you still have options. People often don’t think that they can do much about missing teeth, but they do have more options than they might think. Your teeth are important for your psychological health — you should be able to feel good about them. But having healthy teeth is also crucial to your physical health. Below, we’ll look into some of the options available for people with serious dental problems.
1. Tooth Extractions
Some of the options we’ll list below can be seen as solutions following tooth extractions; but a tooth extraction doesn’t always need to be followed up by a tooth replacement, especially if the tooth being extracted is a back moral that isn’t visible or crucial to a person’s eating habits. In fact, tooth removals are often recommended by dentists, especially for those that have wisdom teeth. Not everyone has wisdom teeth today, and many who do don’t have the typical four that dentists expect. But it’s still highly recommended that people have their wisdom teeth removed, and the procedure is performed on about 5 million Americans per year. You may be afraid of getting your wisdom teeth removed; but the consequences of keeping them can at times be serious. Impacted wisdom teeth — the third molars at the back of your mouth — don’t have enough space to grow, and thus develop abnormally. This can lead to abscesses which can seriously affect your health. Sometimes, tooth extractions are performed for other reasons — but if it’s recommended by your dentist, you should give it serious thought. If tooth extractions leave visible gaps in your smile, you have options.
Dentures are typically recommended for those who have lost a large amount of teeth, either due to extractions or a trauma of some kind. Dentures are often associated with the elderly, but in fact people of all ages use dentures. Dentures are removable, and this may be a better option for those who have lost a large amount of teeth. While, as you’ll see below, dental implants are an option for those missing one or a few teeth, the process of implanting many teeth can be too traumatic for the mouth in some cases. There’s no reason to be ashamed of having dentures — an estimated 15% of the edentulous population has dentures made each year. It’s expected that this number will grow in the future. Dentures aren’t just about looks, either. They can seriously help people with missing teeth eat the foods that they want to eat, and for that matter speak more clearly.
3. Dental Implants
Dental implants are popular option for those missing just one or a few teeth. Unlike dentures, they can’t be taken out with ease, and are thus permanent or semi-permanent solutions for those missing teeth. Dental implants are sometimes done in conjunction with a tooth extraction — some people even have teeth extracted for purely cosmetic reasons, and have them replaced with more aesthetically appealing teeth. Dental implants are often performed by cosmetic dentists, but can be important to the function of your mouth as well.