How important are teeth?

How important are teeth?

Our expectations for keeping our teeth have increased in recent years. Teeth have been considered by the people as a ‘lesser organ’, easily removable should a problem arise. This is maybe because of the number of teeth we have, but the impact increases the closer to the front of the mouth we get.

 

Traditional tooth replacements include dentures and bridges, however more recently implants have come to the fore, for replacing single or multiple gaps. The problem is implants are often portrayed as a golden bullet with limited disadvantages. It is not uncommon for compromised natural teeth to be removed in favour of implants. This follows the mistaken belief that implants will last forever.

 

Don’t get me wrong, implants are excellent, but statistically their long-term survival rates are not as good as well-treated compromised teeth such as those with gum disease or teeth requiring root fillings. Removing a tooth should only be as an absolute last resort. The value of a tooth is more than the cost of the replacement, it is the loss of a bodily organ. As we have the ability to restore more heavily compromised teeth with biomimetic dentistry, we should see these teeth last many more years.

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