How to cope with losing your teeth

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Professor David Harris’ new book The Dental Amputee examines the emotional and psychological effects of tooth loss and the physical and functional changes that result from tooth loss. In his 25 years experience with dental implants, Professor David Harris has come across many stories of people who can’t live their lives to the fullest because of problems arising from the loss of all their teeth.

“Tooth or teeth loss can affect an individual’s appearance, self-confidence, self-esteem and quality of life, as well as their ability to manage a varied and nutritious diet. Some people avoid social outings, have relationship problems and feel they have to suffer in silence. Also, losing your teeth is probably the least publicised problem associated with growing older,” said Professor Harris.

One of the oral health problems many older people will face is the reduction of saliva. Without saliva, elderly people risk sudden death from a condition known as ‘café coronary’ if they fail to chew food properly, especially meat.

In The Dental Amputee, Professor Harris gives us an insight into how dental amputees live with the misery of their condition in silence, in secrecy and with no sense that there is anything they can do about it. They feel very embarrassed about having no teeth of their own and will take great care to try to hide that fact from others. This book focuses on understanding the effects of losing most of your teeth. It provides an insight into edentulism (tooth loss) and modern treatments that are available for it. Dental implants offer a solution to tooth loss that, in many instances, patients regard as transformational.

The Dental Amputee is published by Londubh Books  at €14.99.

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