Taking care of your teeth is important. If you don’t practice good dental care and see he dentist regularly, you could experience some pretty serious consequences. It’s only been in the past 50 years or so that dental health has become a priority in the U.S., which is evidenced by the fact that about three out of every 10 people over age 75 have no natural teeth left. However, even with the convenience and relative low cost of dental care today, there are still people who don’t take care of their teeth. About 3% of the population of people who are between 20 and 64 have lost all their teeth. While some people choose not to take care of their teeth at all, others lean toward the other extreme, spending a significant amount of money on cosmetic dentistry.
Cosmetic dental care can range from store-bought teeth whitening products to expensive tooth implants. Tooth whitening is fairly inexpensive and easy to do, and the growth of such procedures shows that. Teeth-whitening procedures have grown about 300% over the past five years. Much of that can be attributed to older people, especially the baby boomers, focusing on their appearance in an attempt to look young.
Those who want to go a little farther in their quest for the perfect teeth can opt for dental implants. These implants are essentially artificial teeth that either replace a tooth that has been damaged or looks bad or one that is missing. Many of these procedures are considered cosmetic, although some may be necessary to replace teeth that are vital. You usually would get such implants from a specialist such as an implant dentist, but demand is growing so much that even family dentists are learning how to do the implants. About 3 million Americans have an implant and about 500,000 people get one annually. To keep up with that demand, about one out of every 10 dentists now performs implant procedures.
If you have more than just one missing or damaged tooth, implants may not work, and you may have to have a bridge replacement. Crowns also are an option for individual missing teeth.
If a healthy smile is a priority for you, it’s a good thing you have many options. There are a variety of dental treatments available to improve your smile, from something simple such as a teeth-whitening procedure to more permanent solutions such as a bridge or implant.