How Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss
Tooth loss isn’t just an inconvenience that dampens your smile; it rather has much bigger implications on your oral health. Missing teeth can have a considerable and long-lasting impact on the surrounding tissues of your teeth, including the jawbone. Long-term tooth loss can cause your jawbone to lose muscle mass over time, causing your surrounding teeth to shift, making your face appear sunken.
Fortunately, there are some great tooth replacement options, namely dental implants
that can help you regain your smile and jawbone muscle.
Why Does Bone Loss Occur?
Muscle atrophy occurs after prolonged disuse of your muscles. The jawbone requires a considerable amount of stimulation to grow, develop, and sustain itself. The only way it receives this stimulation is through the movement of the jaw while biting and chewing. In fact, the pressure of chewing helps strengthen the jawbone.
Tooth loss reduces the amount of stimulation that the jawbone receives, causing it to lose mass. Moreover, tooth loss also causes the alveolar bone (the ridge of bone that supports the teeth) to deteriorate. Once the jawbone loses its stimulation, your surrounding teeth begin to lose support, causing them to shift from their place.
Why Is Bone Loss a Big Deal?
Long-term tooth loss can lead to some severe consequences, especially when it comes to aesthetics. As your jawbone loses muscle mass and shrinks, your face will start sinking in. A sunken face will naturally rob you of your youthful appearance.
How Do Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss?
Traditional tooth replacement procedures, such as dentures or dental bridges
, don’t prevent bone loss in the jawbone. In fact, the pressure that dentures impose on the jawbone can end up accelerating the loss of jawbone mass.
Dental implants, on the other hand, are one of the most effective solutions for the prevention of bone loss. Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants mimic a tooth root for the permanent placement of artificial teeth. An implant is basically a biocompatible titanium post that is implanted in the area of the jawbone where you’re missing teeth and is left to bond with the jawbone through a process known as osseointegration.
Once the implant successfully bonds with the jawbone, it forms a stable and solid foundation for the placement of the artificial tooth. Since an implant mimics a tooth root, it provides the same stimulation to the jawbone as a normal tooth root, allowing it to stay strong and thick.
What Should You do if You Suffer from Significant Bone Loss?
If you have lost a few teeth or have had to undergo a few tooth extractions
, you should consult your dentist or periodontist about dental implants. You need an ample amount of jawbone mass for implants, which might be a problem considering you’ve been suffering from long-term tooth loss. Fortunately, however, if you qualify for all of the other requirements for dental implants except for jawbone mass, your dentist will recommend bone grafting surgery to strengthen your jaw.
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Searching for a dentist or a prosthodontist to find out more about dental implants? Call us at (503) 662-8744
to book an appointment at our clinic today.