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Dental implants and self-esteem

10 December 2021
Nicholas Fournier, DD, College of Denturists of Ontario

Losing your teeth is a very personal experience: when you have no choice but to lose them, you also lose a part of yourself, your identity. Although it is difficult to quantify this loss, the effect can be felt even before the tooth extraction. It is similar to the feeling that comes with the loss of a limb and the resulting feelings of distress and shame. In short, tooth loss will shatter your self-esteem and, in this context, accepting dentures can be a major challenge. It’s difficult to regain self-esteem when our teeth are essentially a mobile accessory. That being said, there are many cases where dentures work very well and patients are satisfied with the end result.

However – whether you’re in the presence of family members, friends or your spouse – it goes without saying that it’s hard to feel confident if you’re always worried about your dentures falling out. However, the problem of unstable teeth can be fixed. The solution? Dental implants. They will fix your teeth, making them so strong that you will think they are your natural teeth! You can count on it. Your self-esteem and smile will return, along with a sense of normalcy. The truth is, you don’t realize how important something is until you lose it. But if you’re lucky enough to get it back, you can get your quality of life back too.

Let me tell you an anecdote related to this. One day, a patient of mine came in to discuss her lower denture (placed two years ago) that never worked very well. It was the first time I had met a patient with such low self-esteem. Every day was a struggle: she didn’t want to go out or be seen without her teeth. As a result, she was turning in on herself. In addition, she thought she was too old for dental implants and that the procedure was too expensive. I told her that she was not alone, that many of her colleagues were going through the same thing, and that dental implants could remedy the situation and improve her quality of life. Although it took some time, she finally decided to take the plunge.

From day one, from the moment her teeth were attached to implants, my patient’s attitude changed dramatically. She was now, on balance, a happy woman and even wondered how she managed without implants all those years ago. Despite her positive attitude, I asked her if the procedure was worth it, considering her age and health. She said it gave her a new lease on life and that if more people knew about the possibility, they too could reach new heights. All in all, she told me that she would do it again without hesitation, regardless of her age.