Unlike many cultural myths, the tooth fairy is relatively new on the scene. The first references to her appeared around the turn of the 20th century. Far from being “zillions” of years old as some websites claim, she’s 100 if that! Interestingly, earlier forms of the myth required throwing the tooth in fire, or alternatively, into a mouse hole.
If the tooth fairy visits you as an adult, it’s usually less of a positive experience. After all, there’s no more teeth waiting in the wings for us, conveniently filling in the space left behind. Most adults lose their teeth as the result of dental disease, either periodontal (in the gums) or caries (in the teeth). Luckily, there are many dental plans that can work for replacing lost teeth. Here are two ways a dentist can help you out.
- Implants are the preferred recommended option by dentists, especially for patients who are only missing one or two teeth. This is because implants mimic the natural tooth as closely as possible.
- For this procedure, the dentist drills a hole into the jawbone, then inserts a titanium screw. The titanium and the bone adhere together, anchoring the dental implant in place. a false tooth is then attached to the top.
- Dental insurance does not typically cover implants, and they are usually between $2,000 and $4,000 per tooth.
- Dentures have come a long way in the past several centuries. Today’s models are fairly comfortable. In most cases, dentures have to be changed every five to ten years, as the mouth naturally shrinks with age, especially when teeth are lost (teeth, or implants, prevent bone reabsorption).
- Routine cleaning with denture-specific solutions is necessary, especially for older individuals. Studies have shown that denture wearers tend to have higher counts of yeasts and lactobacilli in their saliva.
- Bridges are a form of dentures, but typically only fill in for one to three missing teeth. They are anchored in place by the surrounding teeth. Since the adjoining teeth usually need to be filed down in order to support the device, bridges increase the likelihood of decay for these areas.
- The average cost for one set of dentures is about $1,300, and insurance will usually pay for part of the cost.