Especially when we are younger, most of us do not give much thought to the long-term implications of our oral care. We have our teeth, and as long as they cause us no special concern, we may see our dental professional for once-a-year cleanings at best. Many people visit a dentist even less than once a year.
This lack of care and concern for teeth during our early decades of life is something that your Philadelphia oral surgeon has seen, and is also borne out by the facts. Despite the United States enjoying some of the best healthcare in the world, one in 10 Americans is missing all of their teeth, and almost two-thirds are missing more than one tooth. For people who are 65 and older, this figure is much, much higher.
As I have discussed in previous posts, a missing tooth or teeth has a significant impact on oral health. When tooth or teeth roots disappear, it has a negative impact on the jaw bone, which will shrink. For denture-wearers, pressure on gums from denture use will further accelerate bone loss. If dentures are worn most of the time, through both day and night, bone loss will accelerate further due to the consistent pressure.
Impact of Denture Wear
In my own practice, I often see patients who have suffered because of a missing tooth or teeth. The longer that my patients have been using dentures, the more bone loss they tend to have in their jawbones. A year after a tooth or teeth extraction, denture-wearers may experience up to one quarter bone loss in their jaws. In three years, that figure rises to more than 50 percent, leaving them with a weak bite.
Needless to say, such bone loss has a huge impact on the ability to consume food, as well as to talk and smile. The most visible and difficult consequence of such bone loss is the change that people experience and see in their faces. The combination of bone loss and dentures will cause a shortening of the bottom of the face, making a person look older. In addition, wearing dentures can leave users in recurring pain, due to nerve damage from the ongoing pressure to the gums of dentures.
These various developments have a huge impact on social and physical health, including self-esteem and self-confidence.
If you are questioning the value or cost of dental implants, please schedule an appointment with your BalaCynwyd oral surgeon. Together, we can talk through this procedure’s benefits to you and your life.
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