If you have a serious gum disease that is threatening your teeth, you may wonder whether it’s worth it to keep investing in periodontal care to preserve your teeth, or if it would be less expensive to just give up on threatened teeth and replace them.
Even putting aside the fact that replacing teeth with dental implants would require good periodontal health, periodontal treatment is less expensive than replacing your teeth.
A recent study from Norway focused on this question and found that the lifetime cost of periodontal care is less than the cost of replacing teeth. They found that the lifetime cost of periodontal treatment was about the same as the cost of replacing three teeth with dental bridges or the cost of two dental implants. (These are immediate costs, they don’t reflect recent findings that the lifetime cost of dental implants is actually less than bridges.)
The main reservation that people have about gum disease treatment is, “What if I go through all this and I lose my teeth anyway?”
This is always a risk, but you should be comforted that if you follow your maintenance protocols, your risk of losing teeth is actually low. About 80% of people undergoing treatment for advanced gum disease don’t lose a single tooth. And you will typically know if you are at serious risk of losing a tooth before you start treatment. Almost all teeth that are lost are rated “hopeless” by a periodontist before treatment begins (though about 60% of hopeless teeth are in place 15 years later). And people who don’t follow their dentist’s instructions about maintenance are 5.6 times more likely to lose a tooth than those that do.
So if you want to save your teeth, you can. And not only will you save your teeth, you will save money, too.
If you are looking for help saving your teeth, please call (310) 275-5325 for an appointment with a periodontist at Nicolas A. Ravon, DDS, MSD in Beverly Hills.