A Penny For Your Tooth
“Is getting a dental implant really worth it?”
A friend of mine once asked me this very question over a cup of overpriced watered-down coffee. Well, I’m not going to sugarcoat anything for you; besides, sugar is bad for your teeth anyway. Dental implants are something we would not consider “cheap”.
What exactly is a Dental Implant?
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, if you are missing a single tooth, one implant and a crown can replace it. A dental implant replaces both the lost natural tooth and its root. It basically looks like a screw or cylinder made out of titanium that is placed into your jaw. After several months, your bone will fuse (osseointegrate) with the implant fixture. A crown can now be placed as a restoration, thus giving you a natural-looking tooth substitute.
A lot of people say: Dental Implants are Expensive
Well, think of it this way. Dental implants have come a long way since 1952 when it was accidentally discovered. Think of the years spent on researching and developing, the effort put up by a team of scientists and the materials used to create something as extraordinary as a dental implant. And by the way, what about the specialist’s education? That’s 6 years of studying plus another 3-5 years of post-grad training. Mind you, it takes, skills, knowledge and experience to successfully plan and place a good quality dental implant.
Let me break down to you the COST of NOT REPLACING A MISSING TOOTH:
- Health is Wealth
-The inability to eat can actually lead to more serious health conditions. You begin to eat softer food, and there are fewer intakes. You may not even fully chew your food before swallowing. Your digestive system is then affected. Nutrition is compromised leading to diminished overall health. So then, how much are you willing to spend on health care expenses for not eating the right kind and right amount of food?
-Bone loss is one of the risks for not replacing a tooth. It immediately
happens after you lost a tooth leaving a void. Unfortunately, bone loss
doesn’t only impact the one tooth that was missing. It also significantly
affects the other structures of your neighboring teeth. Adjacent tooth
might tilt, drift, become weakened and mobile or develop to a gum
disease or even start a tooth decay.
-Another thing is in an attempt to avoid biting/chewing near the missing
tooth, you’ll most likely overuse other teeth to compensate for the
missing one. These may then lead to temporomandibular joint
disorders(clicking/popping sounds)in the future.
- Confidently Beautiful
-A missing tooth can impact your personal, social and professional life. Teeth are the first things we see looking at a person’s face. A healthy smile is a must for many of us judging/considering a candidate for a job position. Imagine not having to speak/pronounce clearly words during the interview due to a missing tooth. Think of the money you are able to earn at your job. Can you put a price tag on a missed job opportunity?
-If a space from the missing tooth can be seen when you smile or speak, you may start avoiding smiling/speaking to people in public. If gum disease develops due to the missing tooth, you may begin to experience bad breath as well. This would then lead to reduced self-esteem.
So is getting a Dental Implant worth it? If you add-up the lifetime costs of a missing tooth, how much risks are you willing to take if in the first place they were avoidable? Are you confident enough to smile, eat or talk in front of other people? A penny for your tooth.
Now going back to the conversation I had with my friend. Let’s make an analogy. The money you spend on X cups of coffee a day is equivalent to an investment on your future. Dental Implant is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
You can check out the video below to know more about implants:
Video by: Straumann Dental Implants
Gif by : Google
Article by : Dr. Katrina Tan
Oral Surgeon, Orthodontist
Gan Advanced Osseointegration Center