How Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss
How Bone Loss Occurs
Your teeth perform many essential tasks. One of these tasks is the maintenance of your jawbone health. Every time you chew, the roots of your teeth stimulate the bone. This stimulation sends a message to your body. In response, the body sends the essential nutrients your jaw needs to remain strong and maintain its shape. When you lose your teeth, even just one, the stimulation lessens. This sends the wrong message to your body, and fewer nutrients are sent. Over time, the jawbone begins to lose mass. Height, width, and volume begin to disappear as the bone resorbs and grows weak. This then leads to the bone beginning to change shape. Surrounding teeth can shift out of alignment, causing serious issues such as uneven tooth wear, and jaw pain. In cases where several teeth are lost, the shape of your face can also begin to change. Without support, the cheeks and lips begin to sink in. Skin sags and wrinkles form. You may still be young, but these changes can age you significantly beyond your years.
Preventing Bone Loss with Dental Implants
There are several options available for tooth replacement. Traditionally, missing teeth have been restored with bridges or dentures. While both can restore the basic functions of your mouth, none of them can do anything about the bone mass in your jaw. As a result, even though your teeth have been replaced, the bone continues to weaken. This results in the need to have your restorations replaced every few years to accommodate your changing jaw.
Dental implants are different. This unique treatment utilizes small titanium posts that are surgically implanted into the jawbone, instead of sitting above the gumline. The posts are then used to support your replacement teeth, anchoring them securely into place. Implants rely on a process known as osseointegration, or the fusion of your bone to the posts. This process integrates the implants into your jaw, helping them to become stable. The implants replace the roots of your natural teeth, providing the stimulation your missing teeth one provided. As you heal, the stimulation from the implants triggers the body to send essential nutrients once again. The bone begins to regenerate itself and fuses to the implants. Once you have fully healed, the implants continue to stimulate the bone, helping to keep it strong and healthy.
What If I Have Significant Bone Loss Already?
For implants to be placed, you first need to have sufficient bone mass remaining in the jaw. Otherwise, there will not be enough mass to support the posts. If you have already lost significant bone mass, this does not mean implants are not an option. A bone graft can restore the missing bone mass to your jaw, providing the necessary mass to support implants. Then, once implants have been placed, they can begin to stimulate the jaw and work to keep it strong.
With dental implants, you can eat, speak and smile with ease once again. Not only that, but implants help to keep your jawbone strong and healthy, preventing the need for restoration replacement every few years. For more information, and to find out if dental implants are right for you, call Winning Smile Dental Group and schedule your consultation today at (224) 307-4977.