When we think about the emotional impact of tooth loss, we often think about the self-consciousness that comes from having an incomplete smile. We might also imagine the guilt some people feel about not taking care of their teeth.
But one of the most important emotions that people feel in relation to tooth loss is grief, and dental implants can help people overcome this strong, negative emotion related to their teeth.
Grief Is Common after Tooth Loss
Some people might think it’s weird to talk about grief related to tooth loss. If you haven’t lost a tooth yet, you don’t know what people go through, and even those who have lost a tooth are sometimes unwilling to admit to themselves the grief they feel.
But grief related to tooth loss is actually very common among people who have lost teeth, similar to the feelings of grief that go along with the loss of other body parts. Unaddressed, it may persist for years after the loss of a tooth.
Coping with and Overcoming Grief
There are many different ways to conceptualize and cope with grief. One of the more common ways of looking at grief is thinking of the stages of grief, commonly conceptualized as a 5-stage process:
- Denial–You refuse to accept the reality of the loss
- Anger–You try to place blame on yourself or others for the loss
- Bargaining–You seek to make deals with the universe, God, yourself, or others to try to erase or alter the reality
- Depression–Sadness overwhelms you
- Acceptance–You finally find peace with your loss
The biggest problem with this model is that many people think it’s like a five-step process that you can go through and never have to worry about again. The truth is that it’s often reciprocal, and you can find yourself gaining acceptance one day, then find yourself back at denial again in the future, particularly if you can’t move on from your loss.
How Dental Implants Can Help
One of the things that can trigger you to go back through the grief process is a visual or functional reminder of your loss. Not replacing your lost tooth means that every time you look in the mirror, you will be reminded of the loss. You might also be reminded of the loss every time you take out or put in your partial denture.
But dental implants function as a tooth replacement that helps you avoid reminders of the lost tooth. They look like your natural tooth, function like your natural tooth, and don’t require special care to remind you that they’re not your natural tooth. They can help you put your tooth loss grief behind you.
And if you’ve put off getting dental implants because of dental anxiety, sedation dentistry can help you overcome your fears to get the dental implants you desire.
If you are looking for an implant dentist to help you overcome the grief of tooth loss with dental implants in Orlando or prevent future tooth loss, please call (407) 834-6446 for an appointment at the office of Dr. Michael L. Weinstock in Altamonte Springs today.