Tooth loss can make it harder to eat and have a negative impact on one’s self esteem. Further, if left unchecked, long-term tooth loss results in the depletion of jawbone tissue. This causes the remaining teeth to shift, which can alter the patient’s facial appearance by giving it a sunken, recessed look. Fortunately, one of the most effective means of preventing bone loss is through dental implant treatment. Dental implants provide a lasting solution to oral health problems while simultaneously preventing detrimental bone loss. The following list will provide a better idea as to just how dental implants prevent bone loss.
Even the most resilient jawbones require an adequate amount of stimulation in order to remain dense. One of the many functions of teeth is to stimulate the jaw through biting and chewing. This results in a resilient jawbone that can adequately support the teeth. Conversely, losing teeth means that the jawbone no longer receives the required stimulation, resulting in a weaker, shrinking jawbone that will alter the shape of one’s face.
For Those Who Already Have Bone Loss
Some people who have had untreated tooth loss or denture problems are probably already experiencing jawbone degeneration. Unfortunately, dental implants require a significant amount of jawbone in order to ensure success. However, this does not prevent those with jawbone loss from receiving implants. On the contrary, the procedure can still be performed after a bone graft. These grafts will improve parts of the jaw, supplying the necessary density for the dental implant procedure.
How Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss
While dental implants replace missing teeth and guard against the loss of jawbone tissue, they also prevent further bone loss. Implants are different than other tooth replacement procedures, such as dentures and bridges, as they replicate the functionality of a tooth root. Implants are essentially surgically-placed titanium posts that can attach to bridges, dentures, and even crowns.
For dental implants to work properly, it is crucial that the jawbone grow around the implant. The medical term for this process is osseointegration. Upon successful installation, the implant will behave like a normal tooth. This means that the jawbone will receive adequate stimulation and respond accordingly by exhibiting typical regeneration, as it would in tandem with natural teeth.
For more information, or to discover whether or not you are a candidate for dental implants, consult your dentist.