Americans are far more aware of their dental health than they were even a hundred years ago. Though cases of odontophobia, the fear of the dentist as classified in the DSM-IV, still persist, most Americans have no problem visiting their general dentists for regular check-ups and cleanings and even pursue dental health actively in their daily lives. Most Americans are careful to brush, floss, and rinse, even remembering to protect their toothbrushes from bacteria by rinsing them in hot water after each use and replacing them every three months or after illness. This marks an incredible shift in the way we think about oral health. Our teeth are with us as early as six weeks after conception, and should be cared for as meticulously as we care for the rest of our bodies.
Only 100 years ago, about half of all adults in North America were toothless. Today, fewer than 10% of adults over the age of 65 have lost teeth. For those who have, we now have much more sophisticated procedures for the replacement of those teeth, most of which are pursued by patients between 41 and 60 years of age. You might remember learning about George Washington’s wooden dentures. As gruesome as it sounds, they were actually made from wood, iron, animal teeth, and human teeth. No such device is used in the U.S. today, thankfully, and even modern dentures have been updated with one of the most advanced cosmetic dental procedures yet to hit the market.
Dental implants can now be placed to make dentures and false teeth permanent, looking and acting exactly like natural teeth. The process is relatively simple. A dental implant is placed into the bone socket of a missing tooth and left for six to 12 weeks while the jawbone heals, growing around the implant and anchoring it into the jaw. After the implant is secured, an attachment called an abutment is attached to the implant which can support a crown designed to fit flawlessly into a patient’s mouth. This type of cosmetic dental work allows patients to replace missing teeth without restricting what they can eat or requiring them to remove their teeth at night.
One type of implant, called the all on four procedure, can even replace a full mouth of teeth for edentulous patients. With all on four dental implants, only four implants and abutments are placed on each gum, supporting full bridges. These cosmetic dental procedures have made a world of difference for a number of patients who used to wear removable dentures.
Though cosmetic dentistry costs are still quite high, cosmetic dental procedures mark an incredible growth in the complexity of dental work and make dental health more accessible to American patients. Many feel that the costs are well worth the confidence and convenience that come along with a brand new set of fully functional teeth. Find out more at this site.