By Dr. Nolan E. Cordon
The largest mammal, the Blue Whale, does not have teeth! It consumes small fish by taking in large amounts of water and filtering out their food, only to be swallowed without chewing. Humans, on the other hand, enjoy the benefits of eating with our teeth, adding a great deal of variety (and enjoyment) to our diet. Through neglect, trauma, or other circumstances, we may lose some or all of our permanent teeth. The result can lead to a decreased ability to eat and poor dental appearance. It wasn’t too long ago that removable dentures were too common of a solution to missing teeth. These types of dentures were often difficult to chew with, uncomfortable, and needed frequent replacement. Better dental awareness, home care, and regular dental checkups have each decreased the loss of permanent teeth. However, in the cases when teeth need to be replaced, modern dental advances have led to successful placement of fixed bridges, implants, and implant supported dentures that can better replicate the benefits of natural teeth. If you are missing any permanent teeth (and don’t want to restrict your diet to that of the Blue Whale), talk with your dentist about treatment options to restore your ability to enjoy the benefits of your teeth.
Dr. Nolan E. Cordon is a specialist in Orthodontics for children, teens and adults and has been providing care for patients in the Desert Ridge area since 1999.