If you have lost one or more teeth, you may notice difficulties with your typical oral functions. If you do not seek treatment from your dentist after tooth loss, you may suffer further complications in your dental health, such as the deterioration of the jawbone.
Replacing missing teeth with dental implants can give you long-lasting restoration for your smile as well as protection for your jaw. Read on to learn more about the health benefits that dental implants can provide for your jawbone if you have missing teeth.
What Happens to the Jaw After Tooth Loss?
Patients with optimal dental health have a full set of teeth that include roots that extend below the gumline to reach the jawbone. The roots stimulate the bone in the jaw, keeping it strong.
After a patient loses a tooth, the jaw no longer receives stimulation because the tooth’s root is absent as well. Without the tooth root’s presence, the jawbone will begin to deteriorate. Missing more than one tooth can have an even greater effect on the jawbone’s health.
This can lead to the appearance of sagging in the face. It may also impact remaining teeth, causing them to shift out of place and create more dental problems.
How Do Dental Implants Preserve Jawbone?
A tooth replacement solution that provides prosthetic teeth above the gumline only will not treat jawbone loss. Though a removable denture can provide some restorative benefits, a dental implant is the ideal choice for patients who want to preserve the bone in their jaw after tooth loss.
The dental implant features a titanium post anchor that a dentist surgically places in the jaw. It fuses with the bone there, serving as a replacement for the absent tooth root. The anchor will function as a support for prosthetic teeth attached to it above the gumline.
The anchor’s presence will stimulate the jawbone once again, stopping bone from degenerating. It can also encourage bone that has already been lost to regrow. This will preserve the jaw’s structure and therefore the appearance of the face and teeth.
Can My Jaw Sustain a Dental Implant?
Though dental implants are useful to patients who want to treat bone loss in their jaw, their jaw must still have enough bone to sustain the anchor of an implant. If too much bone is already lost, it may not be strong enough to support the fusion of the dental implant with the jaw. You might not be a good candidate for this restorative treatment in this instance.
In this case, your dentist may suggest adding more structure to the jawbone with a bone grafting surgery. They may also elect an alternative tooth replacement treatment to restore your smile.
The dentist can evaluate your jawbone health with x-ray imaging taken during a consultation appointment. Schedule a visit with your dentist to discuss ways to replace your missing teeth and improve your jawbone health today.