Implant Dentists Warn Tooth Loss Can Harm Your Health

May 26, 2009

Implant Dentists Warn Tooth Loss Can Harm Your Health

Half of US Adults Are Missing One or More Teeth


A startling rise in adults with missing teeth is becoming a serious concern and could have significant long-term health consequences, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID).  


A recent national survey of more than 50,000 adults, conducted by implant manufacturer Nobel Biocare, showed that half have at least one missing tooth.  Advancing age and the ravages of periodontal disease are a primary cause for the increasing prevalence of tooth loss, but what the public doesn’t understand is tooth replacement is isn’t just a cosmetic fix. 


“Many patients who have lost one or more teeth believe the personal impact is strictly aesthetic, and, as a result, may not choose to replace a lost tooth,” said AAID President Beverly Dunn, DDS.  “However, just one missing tooth can lead to significant bone loss over time that can alter the jaw structure, cause other teeth to shift, and change the shape of your face.” 


In the survey only one in three respondents were aware that missing teeth can damage facial contour, and just 25 percent knew that tooth loss causes bone erosion in the jaw.


Dunn said individuals who experience significant bone loss from missing teeth eventually will develop a sunken or drooping jaw.  “Not only are missing teeth and drooped jaws unattractive, they can damage one’s personal self esteem and influence eating habits.”


Many individuals with missing teeth have trouble chewing certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables.  As a result, they eliminate these dietary staples from their daily regimens at great risk to their health.  Eating soft, fatty foods all the time, for example, will cause weight gain and the excess pounds often lead to numerous disorders, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.


Fortunately, America’s tooth loss crisis can be stemmed with dental implants, now considered the preferred option for replacing missing teeth.  Dental implants are 98 percent successful and cause little or no bone loss, according to research published in the Journal of Oral Implantology.   There is a growing body of compelling clinical evidence supporting dental implants as the most successful method for replacing missing or compromised teeth. 


Dunn said implant surgery is one of the safest, most precise and predictable procedures in dentistry when performed by skilled implant dentists.  He noted that as consumer demand for dental implants rises, more dentists need comprehensive training to become proficient at implant procedures.


“Attending a weekend course isn’t enough to become a skilled implant dentist,” said Dunn. “There’s higher risk if the dentist has limited experience performing implant surgery.  Prospective patients should pay close attention to the dentist’s training and experience before agreeing to undergo a dental implant procedure.”      


About AAID

AAID offers a rigorous implant dentistry credentialing program which requires at least 300 hours of post-doctoral instruction in implant dentistry, passing a comprehensive exam, and presenting to a group of examiners successful cases of different types of implants.  It is one of the most comprehensive credentialing programs in dentistry.


AAID can help consumers find a local credentialed implant dentist at  AAID is based in Chicago and has more than 3,500 members.  It is the first organization dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of implant dentistry by supporting research and education to advance comprehensive implant knowledge.        

« Return to News Releases