There are many reasons you can lose a tooth—even people who are otherwise vigilant about their oral health could lose teeth as a result of an accident.
Dental implants make for effective replacement teeth when this happens. Because they function and look just like natural teeth, they can essentially serve as permanent replacements with proper care.
This blog has previously covered why patients shouldn’t wait to get implants. Failure to replace a missing tooth in a timely manner can have significant health consequences. This is the most important point to remember when you’re reluctant to move forward with the implant process right away. However, there are perhaps less obvious, but still significant reasons to address a compromised smile as quickly as possible.
You’ll be less likely to smile often if you’re self-conscious about a missing tooth, and this can have an unexpected impact on your day-to-day life. The following examples illustrate how.
Everyone knows that happy people tend to smile a lot. However, did you know that research indicates the reverse is also true? Smiling can actually help you feel happier.
Studies show that the simple act of smiling (even when circumstances don’t naturally warrant it) can actually have a positive impact on your mood. It’s also been shown to reduce your heart rate. You’ll be less likely to enjoy these benefits if you’re not comfortable sharing your smile with the world.
Psychologists point out that smiling is a nonverbal way to communicate positively with another person. On the most basic level, it’s a way to get across, without words, that you don’t mean strangers any harm—that you’re approachable and friendly. Perhaps more importantly, psychologists state that smiling is “contagious”—you may enjoy healthier and happier social interactions if you smile. The positive feelings a smile indicates tend to rub off on the people with whom you’re interacting.
On the other hand, you could make the wrong impression on someone if you’re unwilling to smile. You may come across as cold, unapproachable, or uninterested in interacting with others. So if your missing teeth are making you feel embarrassed or causing you to check yourself before you flash a smile, this can be a real barrier to your social life.
It may come as no surprise to some, but a study of older adults with compromised smiles revealed that treatment typically results in greater self-esteem and quality of life.
You see yourself in the mirror every day. Although you shouldn’t judge your appearance negatively simply because you’re missing a tooth, most people simply think they look better with a full set of teeth.
Fortunately, there are effective treatments for missing teeth, such as dental implants. Again, studies show that receiving treatment for a compromised smile yields an essentially immediate boost in confidence levels. You’ll feel much better about yourself as soon as you replace a missing tooth.
Poor Work Performance
The physiological benefits smiling offers (lower heart rate, reduced response to stressors, etc.) can give you a major advantage at work. You’re depriving yourself of these performance-boosting benefits if you’re not letting yourself smile more often.
A smile can also have a significant impact on an employer’s feelings about you. It may not be fair, but it’s the truth: people appear more likeable when they smile. Refusing to smile because you’re embarrassed about a missing tooth might hold you back at your job, especially if your role involves frequently interacting with customers or business partners.
Unfortunately, refusing to smile doesn’t just have a negative impact on the way your employer views you. Studies show that people who smile are consistently ranked as appearing more attractive than those who don’t. This may be especially important to you if you’re dating or looking for a partner—or if you just want to look (and feel!) your best.
Poor Thought Patterns
Remember how smiling can trick your brain into feeling happy? Research shows that the more often you smile, the easier it is for your brain to identify the thoughts that yield positive emotions. Smiling can actually help you replace negative thought patterns with positive ones over time. The impact this can have on your long-term emotional and mental wellness could be substantial.
Of course, you shouldn’t feel like you have to smile when you’re sad or angry, or when you truly don’t feel like it.
Still, many people who used to smile easily and often no longer do so after losing teeth. The above points illustrate the potential consequences of this feeling. While the main reason for getting an implant is to protect your oral health, feeling comfortable and confidence in your appearance is undeniably important. If you’ve lost a tooth, don’t delay; schedule an appointment with your dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible. They’ll help you get back to your old self as soon as possible.