If you’re missing even a single tooth, your oral health could suffer. Since 36 million Americans go through life with no teeth at all and 120 million are missing at least one, tooth loss has become a major problem. While the obvious effect of missing teeth is that it can affect eating and speaking, there are unforeseen effects that are even more dire. Read the stories of the following two people and how their tooth loss impacted their lives.
Adrian, 17, Didn’t Smile for His Senior Picture
Adrian did decent in school, but absolutely loved sports. This led to him becoming a popular kid with more friends than most high schoolers – but it also led to an injury. One day when playing a game of two-hand touch football with friends, Adrian took a hard push from behind and ended up face first on the ground missing a tooth. Unfortunately, it was one of the four front teeth on the bottom, so it was visible when he opened his mouth.
At first, Adrian remained positive about the injury. He initially laughed it off when it happened, but over time, the empty socket in his mouth really started to bother him. It usually wasn’t painful, but he hated the idea of it being there – and he started to hold back his smile. Adrian was a confident and athletic teen, but his missing tooth really took its toll on his self-esteem.
When senior picture day came up, Adrian’s fear of smiling was at its most intense. The photographer prompted him to smile, but he couldn’t bring himself to open his mouth. Once it was said and done, Adrian looks at his senior photo with regret. “If it wasn’t for that missing tooth I wouldn’t feel this way at all.” he thinks to himself.
Barry, 32, Facing Embarrassment on a Date
Barry felt lucky that his missing tooth wasn’t as visible as it could’ve been – he could still flash a complete smile. Since slipping off his boat and taking a fall about a year ago, Barry had moved on with his life. Single and focused on his career in a busy office in Santa Rosa, California, Barry’s tooth hadn’t been an issue in the past. In fact, he finally gathered enough confidence to ask out a girl he’d seen in the gym of the condo where he resides.
When Barry spoke to people at work, it was typically in quick responses as part of a hectic schedule. This was different. This was Barry and his date, Jessica, sitting together in a dimly lit, quiet restaurant. Barry began by asking about her day, and after ten minutes or so it was his turn. As Barry went on about what he thought were the fascinating parts of his life, he was horrified to notice something – he was lisping when he talked.
Not every single word, but every fifth word or so was noticeably accompanied by a lisp. While Jessica may not have cared, or even noticed the difference, Barry was up in his head. Obsessed with his newfound lisp, Barry began to fumble over his words. While she may have been interested, he’ll never know – Barry lost confidence on his date when he realized that he couldn’t talk without lisping. He was embarrassed and knew he had to replace his tooth.
There Are Many Reasons to Replace Missing Teeth
The cases of Adrian and Barry are just two ways that your life can be impacted by missing teeth. Missing teeth do damage to remaining teeth, chewing and speaking ability, and can lead to far worse problems if left untreated. If you have even one missing tooth, it’s recommended to seek treatment as soon as you possibly can.
The 3 Ways to Replace Missing Teeth
Each of the three tooth replacement treatments has their own distinct advantages and not every patient will qualify for every procedure. Here is a brief summary of these restorative procedures:
- Dental Implants – Optimal treatment, but takes longest and is most expensive
- Dentures – Affordable and popular treatment for missing teeth
- Dental Bridge – Cost-efficient but requires healthy surrounding teeth
Learn about Your Restorative Options in Santa Rosa, CA!
Getting any restorative treatment is far better than living with missing teeth. To find out which of these methods is ideal for you, contact our dental office in Santa Rosa, California. Dr. Harry Albers and his team are deeply familiar with restorative treatments and will recommend the one that meets your specific needs. Don’t suffer another day with missing teeth when treatment is readily available. Find out how our Santa Rosa implant dentist can help you today!