Smiling older couple

How Dental Implants Can Improve Your Mental Health  

What if I told you that dental implants could improve your mental health?

Would you believe me?

Sure, you might think, I can see how dental implants might make my mouth more healthy, but my mental health? Really? Are you sure?  

I’m sure. And I have the evidence and the patients to prove it. At Coatbridge Family Dental Care, we love to see the amazing improvements in mental health that dental implants do give to our patients.  

Why Do Patients Want Dental Implants?

 

Our patients who are interested in dental implants come to see us suffering from 3 main problems:  

 

  1. They are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth  

  2. They are unable to eat properly because they have spaces or not enough teeth  

  3. Their dentures are loose and they worry that they might fall out when they eat  

Collins dictionary defines mental health as the general condition of a person’s mind. Let’s look at how these three problems that our patients come to us with might impact on someone’s mental health.  

Problem #1: I’m unhappy with the appearance of my teeth  

  • Effect on Confidence and Socialising

Being unhappy with appearance of your teeth can affect your confidence. This can prevent you from socialising with friends or interacting with people on a day-to-day basis. Patients often tell us that they cover their mouths when they to talk to someone in public because the way their teeth look is embarrassing. 

  • Effect on Work

We have also met patients reluctant to go for job interviews because they worry that people will judge them as they have missing teeth or a gappy smile. They are in good company –  almost 4 in 10 people think that bad teeth can impact your employability, according to a study by BUPA.  

Worries that an unhealthy mouth affects employment prospects, the ability to do a job well, confidence and confidence in workmates, are also common, according to the same study.  

 

Woman covering her mouth
  • Effect on Relationships

We also often find that patients who are unhappy with appearance of their teeth have been reluctant to go on dates or start new relationships.  

  • Effect on the Way You Feel

For some of the patients who come to see us, it’s been years since they had the confidence to smile. It is a long held view that our facial expressions can actually affect our emotions. Indeed it was first suggested here by Charles Darwin all the way back in 1872.    

This means that the physical act of smiling actually makes us feel happier. The opposite is that not smiling makes us feel down or sad. Imagine the impact of that on someone who feels they have been unable to smile for years.  

Smiling also causes the release of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. “Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. “Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress,” according to Dr. Isha Gupta, a neurologist, in this interview for NBS news. She also goes on to explain that low levels of serotonin and low levels of dopamine are associated with depression. So the more we smile, the more chemicals we release, the happier and less stressed we feel.  

 

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” 

Thich Nhat Hanh

  • Effect on Self-Esteem

As well as having an impact on our ability to smile, losing teeth affects our sense of self-respect and the respect we feel others have for us. Fortunately, making your mouth healthy again can restore your quality of life and self-esteem, scientists have shown. 

How Dental Implants Have Improved Kevin’s Mental Health

Kevin came to see us because he was unhappy with the way his top teeth looked. It was having an impact on his ability to eat and his mental health.   

Using a combination of digitally-designed implants, crowns and bridges Keith gave Kevin the confidence to smile again  

Here’s what Kevin had to say about his experience at Coatbridge Family Dental Care:  

“Keith and his team at Coatbridge Family Dentist have transformed not only my teeth by having full upper implants and extensive work completed at the highest of standards but they have given me back my Smile.   

 Having suffering a mental illness for a few years I’m forever thankful for their kind and caring attitude.”  

Watch to see the impact that dental implants have had on Kevin’s mental health.  

“Keith and his team at Coatbridge Family Dentist have transformed not only my teeth by having full upper implants and extensive work completed at the highest of standards but they have given me back my Smile.   

 Having suffering a mental illness for a few years I’m forever thankful for their kind and caring attitude.”

Before and after photos of patient with dental implants.
Before and after dental implants smile picture<br />
Before and after dental implants<br />
Before and after dental implants

Problem #2: I’m unable to eat properly  

We have many patients whose mental health has suffered as a result of being unable to eat properly. Being able to enjoy the food we like is so important to a fulfilling life. I remember a patient who came to see us and all she wanted to do was to be able to eat a corn on the cob! She was delighted that after her treatment her implants allowed her to be able to do this. As someone who’s quite partial to a corn on the cob – I totally get where she was coming from!   

I also remember a time one of our implant patients came in swinging a bag of apples. She was looking forward to going home to eat them for the first time in years. without having to cut them into bite-size pieces first!   

As many as a third of adults in Scotland do not have a functional dentition (21 or more natural teeth which meet together to allow chewing of food ). Those people who have lost teeth are at greater risk of malnutrition than those who do, according to this study.   

Theis is because the mouth is the entry into the whole digestive system. Teeth are vital for chewing and digestion of food.   

 

Unfortunately malnourished people tend to have  a poorer quality of life. But interventions that allow people to improve their nutrition status can enhance quality of life. Not only physically, but mentally too, scientists have shown 

As well as causing malnutrition, being unable to eat properly can be affect socialising too. When a friend suggests an evening out for a meal, you don’t want to have to say no because you’re worried that what’s on the menu might be too difficult to eat.

How Dental Implants Improved Andy’s Confidence

 

Andy first came to see Keith with a failing bridge which was replacing all of his top front teeth. The bridge had been supported on Andy’s upper eye teeth, but the years had taken their toll on these and they had fractured, leaving the bridge with nothing to keep it in his mouth. 
 
Taking time to speak to Andy, Keith found out that he wanted a solution that looked and felt like his own teeth. He really didn’t want a denture which he’d have to take out at night.  
 
Using four implants and this amazing natural-looking, digitally-designed ceramic bridgework, Keith has given Andy a fantastic new smile that looks so natural! Perfect for smiling and eating with confidence.😄 
 
Keith also placed digitally-designed composite bonding on Andy’s bottom teeth to cleverly mask the wear that had developed there. 
 
Watch what Andy has to say about his care at Coatbridge Family Dental Care:

“It’s a lot better…it’s a lot more secure. It’s a better smile than I had before. And it’s just made me a lot more confident…which I didn’t expect.”

“I’m highly delighted with the implants and the first class treatment given, firstly I would like thank you for making the whole treatment process painless as promised and never leaving me without a smile over the year, once again can I take this opportunity thank you and the rest of team for kindness , also I would have no problem in recommending Coatbridge Family Dental Care to other prospective clients or patients.” 

Upper teeth before and after dental implants
Upper and lower teeth before and after dental implants

Problem #3: I’m worried my dentures might fall out  

 

Eating out can also be an issue for our patients who struggle with dentures. Some patients come to us with stories of being too scared to eat with family and friends in case their denture comes out during a meal. We have had many patients with badly-fitting dentures who also suffer with food getting stuck under their denture. They often have to go to the toilet mid-meal to take them out and clean underneath.   

Many people with ill-fitting dentures are also nervous that their denture may fall out when they laugh. The threat of embarrassment leads to many of these people avoiding social situations.  

Also, the quality of diet can be poorer in adults missing natural teeth and wearing dentures. This is thought to be due to difficulty in chewing hard foods and also a reduction in the sensation of taste, according to this study. 

With a third of Scottish adults wearing a denture, and six in every ten adults over 75 wearing dentures, these are very real problems for many people.  

How Dental Implants Helped Caroline to Eat Properly Again

 

Caroline was struggling with wearing a denture due to living with Sjogren’s syndrome which reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth. This can make wearing a denture very difficult and uncomfortable.   

“What a difference it’s made to my life. I can eat anything anytime I want , there’s no problem whatsoever. I would say to anyone considering implants – don’t waste your time, go now and have them…It changes your life completely…It makes you smile.”  

You can find out more about how dental implants can stop your denture from moving here

Thinking About the Mental Health Impact

 

If you are someone who is suffering from any of these problems, you will be very conscious of the impact it is having on your life and mental health.   

If you know someone with missing teeth or who struggles with dentures, take a moment to think about how living with these issues may be affecting them. Their ability to eat properly, to get out and about, to be confident, or to socialise. And then consider how this may be having an impact on their mental health.   

Post-COVID we are all much more aware of how social isolation particularly can be detrimental to our mental wellbeing. Social isolation can often result in loneliness. “There is strong evidence to suggest loneliness is a strong predictor of poor mental health.”, according to the Mental Health Foundation 

We Can Help Improve Your Mental Health Using Dental Implants

 

The good news is, at Coatbridge Family Dental Care, we can help. We have seen first-hand how our implant treatments have improved the confidence and mental health of many of our patients. We offer dental implants to replace missing teeth and dentures. These give our patients the confidence to go back out into the world, to socialise with family and friends and to eat well. All of which significantly improve their wellbeing.  

Dental Implant patient with Keith Preston
Implant patient
Keith with dental implant patient holding flowers

Our Clinical Director Keith places all our implants. He has been providing implant care for our patients in and around Coatbridge, Lanarkshire and Glasgow for the last 11 years. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious Diploma in Implant Dentistry from the Royal College of Surgeons in England. He continues to invest heavily in training in digital and implant dentistry.

But as you’ll see from our many testimonials, our work at Coatbridge Family Dental Care is very much a team effort

Our Patient Care Coordinators, Leanne and Jill, provide FREE implant consultations for anyone who may be considering implants. They will listen to any problems you are having and discuss how we can help. To find out more contact us here or call our team on 01236 421103. 

Digitally-Designed Implants

At Coatbridge Family Dental Care we also love to be at the forefront of technology. We love digital dentistry!

We take digital 3D scans of your mouth and design your new smile using state-of-the-art digital technology.

The benefit of this is you will be able to see what your new smile will look like before you even start treatment! This gives you control of your new smile and the opportunity to tell its exactly how you’d like it to look! You can be confident in your brand new smile.

Read this to find out what’s so great about digital dentistry.

Before and after digital smile design on intra-oral scanner

Ask Your Dentist To Refer You To Us

If your dentist doesn’t provide implants at your practice, we would be delighted for them to refer you to us.

They can do this via this form or by calling us on 01236 421103.

We communicate closely with our referring dentists to ensure they are kept regularly up-to-date with your care. You can come and see us for your implant treatment and continue to see your own dentist for your routine check-ups and care.

We also offer Refer and Restore courses for dentists. We teach dentists how to restore implants we have placed. If you think this is something your dentist would be interested in, please let them know. They can find out more here.

You can watch the stories of some of our other implant patients here.

You can find out more about the price of implants here 

 

*Please note prices and information are correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change. Please contact us on 01236 421103 or info@coatbridgedentist.com for the most up-to-date pricing and information