What Is A Tooth Worth…
“You don’t have to brush or floss your teeth, just the one’s you want to keep.” -Unknown
“It is the little things-infected teeth and tonsils, for instance-that cause most of our serious ailments.” -Dr. Charles H. Mayo-1934
Unfortunately, there is no set value for a single tooth. Every tooth in every person’s mouth has a value specific to that person. Some people will do anything to avoid ever losing a tooth. Gum surgery, root canal, crown…whatever it takes to avoid it being pulled. Other people are willing to have a tooth removed at the first sign of any pain or problem. Small cavity…”Yank it out, Doc.”
There’s really no wrong or right decision. It’s your tooth, your mouth, and your oral health.
To save or to pull a tooth has to fit into your life.
As a general rule, dentists are in the profession of saving teeth. In most cases, it is healthier and more cost effective to save a natural tooth than it is to come back later and replace said tooth. Dental implants are a great alternative, but it’s still hard to beat what God gave us to start with.
So what are the disadvantages in losing a tooth?
First, let’s talk esthetics. As a general rule, people tend to value the teeth that they see over the teeth that they cannot see. Most people will be quicker to replace teeth in the front than teeth in the back. We all want a beautiful, welcoming smile. Spaces or gaps tend to distract from this.
As unaesthetic as losing front teeth can be, losing back teeth can be even more annoying. The vast majority of our eating occurs on our back teeth. This means that losing the back chewing teeth can often lead to problems eating the foods that we want to eat, when we want to eat them.
Unfortunately, this is often realized too late. After the teeth are gone. And their missed.
It is probably true that nobody has ever died from losing a single tooth or from not replacing a lost tooth. Dental insufficiency usually comes from losing a number of teeth over a number of years. The negative side effects of losing teeth often take time to catch up to us. Our bodies are amazing at adapting to those gaps and spaces. At least until physics and mechanics and biology catch up. Those lost teeth become important once we start having problems eating and talking.
And then, dentistry will still be there to help.
There’s always a solution. Whether you’ve lost one tooth or twenty, we can help you eat and smile and chew and talk and laugh better. We can give you teeth back.
That’s what we do.
Until next week, keep smiling.
-Please send comments to Drs. Parrish at ww.ParrishDental.com.