Landing a job takes more than a solid resume. According to mycareertopia.com, 38% of applicants fail to smile during their interview, and the career advice website calls that a big mistake. Yet many of these people aren’t smiling because they have damaged or missing teeth, and they may be the ones who need the job the most.
“Dentures are not just for the elderly anymore. I might see one to 2 people a month who are looking to replace teeth they have lost due to dental disease. When a front tooth is missing, this becomes a big issue in getting a job,” said Victoria A. Vickers, DDS, a prosthodontist based in San Antonio.
“Patients lose their self esteem and might stop looking for a job until they can get their teeth replaced,” added Vickers, who also is a member of the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) spokespersons network and has volunteered with Mission of Mercy free one-day dental clinics.
Often, Vickers said, the lack of early detection and treatment of dental decay has left patients with such rampant dental disease that they choose to have their teeth removed because they can’t afford to save them. But these extractions could lead to poor health in addition to poor aesthetics.
The Journal of Prosthodontics has reported that significant tooth loss, meaning between 12 and 17 missing teeth, increases the risks of obesity or malnutrition, cardiovascular disease, head and neck cancer, and reduced cognitive function. The ACP, then, encourages patients to brush twice a day, floss once a day, and eat a healthy diet while also scheduling regular dental cleanings and exams to keep their teeth.
Patients who still lose their teeth should visit a prosthodontist to replace them right away, according to the ACP. Options include full and partial dentures, with temporary devices for those patients with immediate needs available in about an hour. Crowns and implants also are available. Of course, these replacements require continued maintenance and care as well.
“Keeping your original teeth if they are healthy for as long as you can is the best thing you can do for your oral health and overall well-being,” said David A. Felton, DDS, author of the study. “If you must lose teeth, get them replaced as quickly as possible and maintain your implants, crowns, or dentures to keep your whole mouth healthy.”