Dental Implants Can Help Deal with the Grief of Tooth Loss

Feb 23, 2015, by Dr. Becky Coats

Losing teeth is more than just a physical experience, it’s an emotional one. People often feel guilty that they didn’t take better care of their teeth. They may feel self-conscious about the current appearance of their teeth or what their teeth will look like after the loss.

But perhaps one of the most surprising emotions people experience is grief. As with any other loss, people may feel grief for what they no longer have. There are many ways to deal with this grief, and dental implants can help.

Grief Is Common after Tooth Loss

Although you may think that you are unusual, or that feeling as you do is somehow unjustified, the truth is that many people feel grief after tooth loss. It’s one of the most common themes in how people feel about tooth loss, even many years after the loss occurred.

People often experience a sense that they lost a part of themselves, similar to what occurs when someone loses a limb. In fact, nearly half of all people who experience tooth loss have difficulty accepting the loss.

Grief Is a Process

Dental Implants and Stages of GriefMost of us have heard about the stages of grief:

  • Denial–“This can’t be happening to me.”
  • Anger–You look for someone to blame, either yourself or someone else
  • Bargaining–You try to make deals with yourself and others to try to erase the reality
  • Depression–You become overwhelmed with sadness
  • Acceptance–You are at peace with your loss.

What’s important to remember is that these stages rarely follow one another in an orderly procession. Instead, people may go through some stages multiple times, recur to certain steps, and may go through stages simultaneously.

Reaching acceptance doesn’t mean your grief is over–grief can recur despite achieveing acceptance.

How Dental Implants Can Help

Dental implants can help you with the grieving process for your lost tooth or teeth. One important thing dental implants can do is eliminate the visual and functional reminder of your loss, reminders that can trigger new bouts of grief.

Dental implants also help deal with the specific type of grief common in people with loss of a body part: grief for lost function. Your dental implant functions just like a natural tooth, so this type of grief can be dramatically reduced.

Dental implants help you become emotionally and physically whole after a tooth loss. It’s impossible to eliminate these feelings of loss, but dental implants can minimize them. To learn more about dental implants in Dallas, please call (817) 481-6888 for an appointment with an implant dentist at Grapevine Dental Care.