The quest for wellness is a national preoccupation but many overlook the value of keeping the smile healthy and fully functional. It may take a dab of dental education to underscore just how critical the teeth are to overall wellbeing and now that it is September, Dental Implant Awareness Month, there is no better time to shine a bright light on the care of the smile.

Even a single missing tooth has the power to raise havoc on the jawline, but several missing teeth can speed the process. When teeth shift and pull the bite out of alignment, several maladies can subtly begin to take root. Malocclusion, the dental word for a poor bite, is the frequent cause of chronic headache, affecting the “tmj” and leading to deterioration of both bone and cartilage. It is also often a contributing factor to digestive ailments if proper chewing is impeded. Loss of multiple teeth will bring esthetic issues; not only will there be black holes in the smile line, but the shifting of teeth can affect facial muscles thatspur creases and cause premature aging.

In young people, the solution can be orthodontic, but for most adults, the state of the art restoration is found in dental implant therapies. Advancements in digital dental technology have made it possible for a patient’s treatment to be accomplished almost virtually with minimal visits and chair time, and with very predictable results. From a single tooth to an entire arch of teeth, the process of rehabilitating a smile can be streamlined, comfortable and rewarding. Mankind can now design a smile that will simultaneously enhance a face and restore complete functionality.

The pursuit of fitness should always include the health of teeth. In addition to your trip to the gym and scheduling a flu shot, celebrate Dental Implant Awareness Month with a dental check-up to ensure that your smile is as strong and fit as the rest of you. Don’t overlook your greatest tool for self-confidence and youth. Smile power has never been more attainable and no smile is beyond repair.