Dental Implants: How Bone Loss Affects Your Candidacy
Without a doubt, dental implants are the most superior solution for replacing missing teeth. While bridges, dentures and partials rely on clasps, surrounding teeth or hoods to keep prosthetic teeth in place, dental implants are the only method that uses your actual jawbone to secure your restorations. The fact that dental implants involve the replacement of both the lost tooth as well as the lost tooth root is what gives them unrivaled advantages over other restorative options.
The role of bone loss in dental implants
When a tooth goes missing, the natural tooth root is not there to properly stimulate the jawbone. Daily stimulation, through chewing and other dental functions, is what helps the jawbone retain its density. Therefore, over time, tooth loss can lead to bone loss. When the underlying bone atrophies, it can alter the fit of traditional dentures as well as lead to premature facial aging due to a hallowed lower face.
While dental implants are the only restorative solution that prevents this progression of bone loss, they also require a certain amount of jawbone to be placed. If a patient waits too long after missing teeth to seek dental implants, the jawbone may have already lost density. The process happens quicker than you may think. When you lose a tooth, the body naturally starts to leach the calcium from that area of the jaw for other areas in the body (also known as resorption). Without natural stimulation, the jawbone can lose up to 25% of its density within the first year alone! The lesson: don’t wait to replace a missing tooth!
What can you do if bone is already lost?
Don’t worry; if x-rays reveal that your bone is already deteriorated but you’d still like to get dental implants, there are procedures that can rebuild your bone structure and qualify you for dental implants. In general, bone grafting is a widely used, straightforward procedure that can restore jawbone density for implants.
To learn more about tooth replacement from Marietta’s finest dental team, call Gilreath Dental Associates today.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates