Put Your Best Smile Forward
Flashing a gap-toothed, coffee-stained smile is probably not the most ideal way to greet someone. Most people think that having a bright, white, full smile is an important social asset, and they might just be right, because about $1.4 billion is spent on teeth whitening products and procedures every year in America. A similar amount of cash is expended to replace missing teeth. With all of the advancements in tooth replacement and tooth decay treatments, less than 10 percent of people over the age of 65 today are missing teeth. That means that 80 percent of folks either have perfect teeth, or have invested in some type of treatment. This is a far cry from 100 years ago, when more than half of all North American adults were toothless.
In recent years, cosmetic dental procedures have provided a way for people save themselves from a toothless grin. One popular cosmetic dental procedure is dental implant surgery. With dental implants, patients can replace missing, decayed, or damaged teeth with a new crown. The process involves implanting an artificial tooth root into the jawbone. The implant, a titanium rod, is fused to the jawbone socket, and then connected to a replacement tooth or crown using an abutment, or connector. After about 6 to 12 weeks, the jawbone grows around the implant as it heals, and anchors it securely in the jaw. Dental implant surgery has a 98 percent success rate, and implants can last a lifetime as long as they are properly cared for.
Full dental implants will cost you more than you might want to pay, but maintaining a perfect smile can be worth the money. Also, just be glad that implants are usually made from porcelain, and not other coarse materials. You might have heard that George Washington had difficulty keeping his own teeth healthy. While he did not actually have wooden teeth as many people would have you believe, his teeth were a mixture of ivory, gold, lead, and animal and human teeth. Dental implants may not give you a smile that colorful, but your new pearly whites will shine. More.