The Value of a Tooth

Dr. Baleix and Dr. Lewando
April 27, 2017

The value of a tooth changes considerably as we mature.   When we are children the value of a tooth is typically measured by how much the tooth fairy is willing to leave under our pillows. Many children work tirelessly to push, pull, and wiggle loose teeth out with the hope that they will be handsomely rewarded for their efforts.  In an interesting turn of events, as we mature and all of our adult, permanent teeth come in, we do our best to brush twice daily, floss, and go to our biannual cleaning appointments in an effort to prevent tooth loss.

It could be said that an adult tooth has no real economic or cash value. However, the reality is that healthy teeth are a visible sign of what is commonly perceived to be part of general well-being and good health.  People are becoming more educated about how their oral health is very much connected to their overall health.  With that thinking in mind, good oral health can help you achieve significant savings on your overall health. The amount of bacteria present in a healthy human mouth is significant and neglecting or becoming lax in our dental hygiene can quickly become problematic. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, and the infection from it can easily spread to other parts of the body, either causing or contributing to other health issues. “Long in the tooth”, a phrase commonly used in the past, was meant to describe someone older with health issues as a result of their periodontal disease.

It is not just the stability of the teeth due to periodontal disease that is compromised by this process.  Dental caries (tooth decay), especially on the exposed root surfaces caused by the bone loss in periodontal disease, is more prevalent with adults, and side effects can be both expensive and painful to treat.

Your smile is one of the first things people see when meeting you.    A healthy smile has the ability to help with a good impression, gives the appearance of good health, and can even be a deciding factor in choosing one candidate over another for employment.  The value of a tooth in terms of dental maintenance can be thousands of dollars if hygiene and scheduled cleanings are not performed.  The value of a tooth in terms of employment can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.  If dressing appropriately for a job is important, how important is it to appear clean and healthy?  The value of a tooth is worth self-confidence, for which there is no price tag.  While your adult teeth do not hold much street value, they are truly worth their weight in gold, as are the benefit packages that allow you to maintain your dental health. So, what’s the value of a tooth to you?

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