Tooth restoration technology is more advanced than it has ever been. With state-of-the-art dental implants and beautiful crowns, we truly are in the twenty-first century of dentistry. In fact, artificial teeth are so durable, attractive, and versatile that some people may even begin to wonder if they’re actually better than actual teeth. At our Houston dental practice, Dr. Cindy Flanagan frequently assists patients with restorative dentistry, repairing their smiles with gorgeous results. However, given her experience with restorations, Dr. Flanagan would also be the first to tell you that protecting your existing enamel is incredibly important. While prostheses are impressive, nothing beats your real teeth. In the following blog, we explain why it’s so important to save natural teeth.
Benefits of Keeping Your Smile Real
It’s easy to understand why some people might think false teeth are even better than natural teeth, but this simply isn’t true. Your existing teeth are part of a complex system of nerves, tissues, and bones. While these may sometimes have their problems, the ideal oral health solution is typically to maintain as much of your natural tooth structure as possible. As the American Association of Endodontists points out, “nothing is as good as your natural tooth” and “saving a natural tooth…should always be the first choice for the best health and cosmetic results.”
The key advantages of keeping your natural teeth rather than replacing them include:
- Greater comfort. With restorations like crowns, bridges, or dentures, you may need to undergo surgery, apply foul-tasting adhesive pastes, deal with shifting prostheses, and deal with any other number of hassles associated with artificial teeth.
- More dietary options. The American Association of Endodontists notes that by preserving your natural teeth, you maintain “normal biting force, so you can continue to eat your favorite foods.” In contrast, prostheses may not be able to handle certain fruits, vegetables, meats, and snacks.
- Affordability. While restorations can be quite cost-effective when needed, they are an investment. When you get a crown, bridge, or denture, you will need to account for maintenance costs and potentially plan for a replacement restoration down the road.
- A beautiful look. While restoration materials approximate the appearance of natural teeth as closely as they can, nothing looks quite like real enamel.
These are just a few of the main benefits to maintaining your natural teeth. There are countless others that Dr. Flanagan can go over with you, depending on your specific circumstances.
Sobering Statistics on Tooth Loss
It’s also important to pay attention to saving your natural teeth because, unfortunately, losing them has become quite common. The American College of Prosthodontists reports: “more than 35 million Americans do not have any teeth, and 178 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth. These numbers are expected to grow in the next two decades.” At Dr. Flanagan’s office, we strive to help our patients avoid becoming a tooth loss statistic.
Tips for Preserving Your Natural Teeth
Fortunately, saving your existing teeth doesn’t have to be difficult.
Our advice is to:
- Brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss at least once per day.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet to maintain your overall well-being and keep your body functioning optimally.
- Attend your biannual preventive care appointments. These will help Dr. Flanagan catch oral health issues before they worsen and become more difficult to treat.
- Opt for treatments that preserve your teeth rather than going straight for extraction. For example, if you have an infected tooth root, we typically recommend that you undergo root canal therapy rather than removing the tooth right away.
Dr. Flanagan and our team can provide further suggestions at your next appointment.
We Can Help You Save Your Natural Teeth!
Are you struggling with a restorative dentistry issue? Do you want to preserve your teeth? Are you due for a checkup? Contact our Houston dental practice today to learn more and schedule an appointment with Dr. Flanagan.