Dental implants are the gold standard solution for replacing missing teeth. They can replicate a natural tooth in function, feel and appearance better than any other option in restorative dentistry. While the upfront cost is higher, most patients realize the long-term advantages of choosing dental implants. However, understanding what a dental implant involves and what happens when teeth go missing can help you fully appreciate implant dentistry, which also includes bone loss prevention.
Bone loss may not be on your radar when you lose an adult tooth or have multiple teeth extracted. This is not bone loss in your spine or limbs. Instead, this refers to bone loss in your jaw. Just like any other bone in your body, if your jawbone is not properly stimulated, it can atrophy or resorb into the body. Unfortunately, your jaw needs all your teeth and their roots to stimulate it each day through biting and chewing. When not all tooth roots are present, the jawbone can begin to deteriorate and lose its form and density. While that may seem like a hidden problem, it can become quite obvious when your lower face starts to sink in and create an aged and hallowed appearance.
Why Dental Implants Are the Only Answer
While there are many options in teeth replacement, such as bridges, partials and dentures, dental implants are the only treatment to address bone loss after missing teeth. Dental implants can do this because they are the only option that replaces both the tooth and the tooth root.
Dental implants involve the surgical placement of a titanium (biocompatible) screw into your jawbone. Over time, the implant fuses to the surrounding bone through a process called osseointegration. When the fusion is complete, you now have a prosthetic tooth root to support a restoration (crown, bridge or denture) on top. Now, your replacement teeth can stimulate your underlying jawbone just like your real teeth, which means avoiding bone loss and the premature facial aging that can occur.
Time is of The Essence
Now that you recognize dental implants as the only way to help prevent bone loss in your jaw after missing teeth, it is important to act promptly. Waiting too long to get dental implants after missing teeth can mean you don’t have enough bone to support a dental implant. In such cases, bone grafting may be necessary to qualify you for implant dentistry. If you have recently lost a tooth or multiple teeth, call today to schedule your consult at Marietta Dental Professionals. We are proud to offer superior care in implant dentistry!