Tooth loss is devastating to a patient’s social, emotional, mental, and physical health. In recent history, tooth loss has been declining in our country (most likely due to improved public health initiatives and better dental education). However, this dental issue still affects millions of Americans. Tooth loss facts and figures from The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research highlight some illuminating patterns across different populations when it comes to tooth loss and oral health. |
The Root Cause of Tooth Loss
Tooth loss can happen for a number of reasons; some people experience trauma or injuries that lead to a knocked out or broken tooth, and some patients experience destructive periodontal disease that weakens the stability of their teeth. However, tooth decay is the leading cause of tooth loss. Plaque, the sticky substance that coats teeth and gums, plays host to millions of oral bacteria. These bacteria produce harmful acids that can destroy tooth enamel and lead to cavities or more advanced tooth deterioration. If this damage to the tooth isn’t reversed or eliminated soon enough, restorative work such as dental fillings, dental crowns, or root canal therapy is not sufficient for eliminating the decay. With advanced decay, extraction is the final option for treatment.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that Americans ages 20 to 34 have 26.9 out of 32 teeth remaining. Americans ages 35 to 49 have 25.05 teeth remaining, and those ages 50 to 64 have 22.3 teeth remaining. This older age group has the greatest percentage of people with no remaining teeth at 10.13%.
Gender, Race, and Education Level
Age is only one piece of the puzzle when looking at tooth loss figures; gender, race, and education levels can all display different trends when determining a patient’s risk level for tooth loss. According to the NIDCR, men are slightly less likely to experience tooth loss. Men, on average across all ages, retain 25.06 teeth, while women, on average across all ages, retain 24.9. In terms of race and ethnicity, Mexican-Americans have the lowest tooth loss rates, with the average retention rate of 25.32 teeth.
Education levels can play an important role in determining risk levels; on average, those Americans with a high school education retain 25.76 teeth, while those adults who have not completed a high school education retain 23.10.
Tooth Retention and Replacement Solutions
To restore a tooth root after tooth loss, dentists and oral surgeons place dental implants — titanium or zirconia, free-standing dental appliances that safely integrate with natural bone and gum tissues. These restorations are safe and very effective; for over 30 years, dental implants have been studied, tested, and improved to provide optimal restoration in the event of tooth loss. Dental implants prevent bone loss in the jaw and maintain the position and strength of remaining teeth because they integrate seamlessly with the natural body. And for cosmetic reasons, patients cannot go wrong with a dental implant; once a dental crown is placed on the implant, the restoration blends with the natural smile remarkably well.
Restorative Care in Skokie, IL
Have you experienced the devastating effects of tooth loss? Or are you looking for advanced dental care to prevent tooth loss in your future? Beginning with regular dental cleanings and exams, our team can help you create a healthy, strong smile by catching tooth decay early on before it becomes too destructive. Regular cleanings also remove built-up plaque and hardened plaque (tartar) to remove harmful bacteria and protect your teeth’s enamel.
Contact The Stein Center for Advanced Dentistry to learn more and to schedule a consultation with Drs. Stein or Weiss. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Related Articles -
tooth loss, dental implants, restorative dentistry,