Make Dental Implants one of your New Years Resolution’s
Like many of you, every year I say to myself this is the year I’m going to be healthier, I’m going to work out more, and eat and drink less. How many of you say, “this is the year I’m going to take better care of my mouth”, or “This is the year I’m going to dedicate time, effort and maybe some resources in order to revitalize my teeth and bring them into the 21st century”? I’m a dentist, the son of a dentist, and even I have to make a concerted effort to continue take care of my teeth in the way they should be.
In addition to caring for the teeth you have, serious though needs to be given to replacing the ones that may already be missing. Patients often ask me, “Do I have to replace this tooth after you take it out?” The answer is almost always the same. I tell them that no tooth HAS to be replaced. As far as I’m aware, no one’s head has exploded from missing teeth (but I do ask each of them to let me know if that ever happens). I also tell them, though, that missing teeth can lead to missing other teeth. What I mean by that is that missing teeth can be a slippery slope, especially your back teeth or chewing teeth. Everybody (usually) wants to replace their front teeth ASAP, but when you are deficient in your chewing teeth, you tend to use your other teeth (particularly on the other side of your mouth) disproportionately. This can not only lead to premature wear and loss of those teeth, but also contribute to TMJ dysfunction. This is even worse when patients are forced to chew with their front teeth. Hence, missing teeth begets missing other teeth.
It is an often overlooked, but well documented, fact that oral health has a direct correlation to overall health. Poor oral health has been associated with a list of health issues including: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, disorders of pregnancy and general malaise (or feeling unwell). In 2000, the Surgeon General gave a 1st ever report on oral health, citing that “ignoring oral health problems can lead to needless pain and suffering, causing devastating complications to an individual’s well being, with financial and social costs that significantly diminish quality of life. “
I think if you ask people who spend resources to improve the appearance of their teeth, compared to people that spend their money to change something on their body; a higher proportion of patient’s tending to their oral needs will tell you that they get more confidence from shining up those pearly whites than those that focused on other parts of their body. So this year go ahead and focus on your overall health. Eat and drink less (or better), and work out more. Tone up those legs, or work on those biceps. Just don’t forget that your teeth play a HUGE role both in your appearance and in your overall well-being. You’ll thank yourself both in the now and in the long run.