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Is Tooth Replacement the Right Choice for You?

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Your smile says a lot, and it’s one of the first things people notice when they meet you. That is, if they get to see your smile because you’re not too embarrassed by what people will see when you flash those pearly whites.

There’s an array of treatments and procedures to help you put your best smile forward. It just may be the boost you need to stop covering up your smile with your hand or a coffee cup.

If you’re avoiding social situations or hiding your smile because of your teeth, it may be time to ask your dentist if cosmetic dentistry is the right choice for you.

Reasons to Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is often used as a sort of “catch-all” term for dental procedures that improve the look of your smile, but aren’t technically necessary for your overall oral or dental health. For a procedure like replacing a damaged or missing tooth, if there isn’t any pain in the area, you might wonder why it’s necessary to do anything to address the problem.

Here are a few good reasons to consider replacing missing or damaged teeth, even if they’re not currently giving you any problems:

1. Missing Teeth Can Affect Chewing

In many cultures, food is what brings us all together. And let’s face it, some of the tastiest foods are also the ones that require a lot of chewing. A damaged or missing tooth diminishes your ability to chew by 10%, and that can lead to trouble swallowing and digesting your favourite foods.

2. Missing Teeth Affect Root Structures

It may only be one tooth right now, but the root structures of teeth work together in a very complex system where all of the teeth support each other. The teeth around a missing tooth will eventually shift to fill the gap left behind, and this may lead to discomfort, and possibly more tooth loss.

3. Extra Space Leaves More Room for Bacteria

While it’s true that the tight spaces between teeth get a lot of the attention when dentists talk about flossing and oral health care, big spaces are a problem too. Areas around a missing tooth are more susceptible to decay and gum disease, and it’s much harder for you and your dentist to keep your teeth clean when they’re not properly aligned.

As you can see, it’s not just the appearance of your smile that’s at stake when it comes to some dental procedures that might be considered cosmetic. A conversation about tooth replacement today can save you a lot of time, trouble and pain tomorrow.

Tooth Replacement Options

Unlike purely cosmetic procedures like veneers or whitening, tooth replacement is considered less “optional” because of the effects of missing teeth on your overall oral health.

There are a few different procedures to replace missing or damaged teeth, including:

Dentures

Dentures are often recommended as a replacement option when all or most teeth are missing. In cases where some teeth remain, a partial denture may be used.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is affixed to what remains of a damaged tooth. They are a permanent replacement option that look and function in much the same way as natural teeth. Note that cosmetic crowns, or caps, that do no improve the individual’s bite or overall oral health, are generally not covered by insurance.

Your dentist is the right person to consult with regarding the right tooth-replacement option for your needs, but keep in mind that your health and dental insurance coverage may be a factor. For example, procedures like dental implants are generally not covered by insurance carriers.

Before you make a final decision, make sure you consider all the available options and speak with your insurance broker.

Health and Dental Insurance

If you’re wondering if your health and dental insurance plan will cover your cosmetic dentistry procedure, the answer is probably not. Dental insurance is intended for regular dental maintenance and to cover any procedures that affect your overall oral health. Most strictly cosmetic procedures fall outside of that category.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures can help give you the smile of your dreams. If you need assistance to understand exactly how health and dental insurance can factor into your budget, call one of our customer service representatives today.

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