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Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss

Maintain a Strong and Thick Jawbone

Tooth loss is not simply an inconvenience or an oral health issue. The consequences of missing teeth can have significant, long-term effects on the surrounding tissue, including the jawbone. In fact, in the first year after a tooth gets extracted, the bone that once supported it may lose up 25 percent of its volume. Why does this occur? How can dental implants in Allen prevent this serious issue? This page explains the answers to these important questions.

Why Bone Loss Occurs

X-ray of skull

Muscles atrophy after long periods of disuse. Astronauts lose bone density after they spend a lot of time in a zero-gravity environment. And the alveolar bone (the ridge of bone that supports the teeth) begins to deteriorate after tooth loss. All of these things occur for the same reason: The human body is an efficient machine. When one part of it is not being used, it gets broken down (resorbed) so the raw materials in it can be used for other purposes.

Tooth roots stimulate the jawbone, and the continual pressure of chewing helps to keep the bone strong. Once those tooth roots disappear, the alveolar bone (the ridge of bone that surrounds the tooth roots) is no longer being used at its fullest capacity, so the body begins to resorb it.

Why Bone Loss Is a Big Deal

jaw pain

Extensive tooth loss, and the bone resorption that that follows it, can lead to some significant consequences:

  • Dentures are designed to work with your existing bone structure. As that bone structure changes, however, the dentures may become loose and no longer function at their best. That is why individuals with traditional dentures must get their prosthetic replaced every few years.
  • Bone loss can lead to serious aesthetic consequences. As the bone shrinks, you may notice that the lower third of your face begins to look sunken, thus robbing you of your natural, youthful appearance.

How Dental Implants Help

implant-supported bridge model

Traditional tooth replacement options, like dentures and partial dentures, do not prevent bone resorption in the jaw. In fact, the pressure that dentures place on the bone can even accelerate the bone loss. That is why so many dentists recommend that their patients choose dental implants to rebuild their lost dentition. Unlike traditional dentures and other tooth replacement treatments, dental implants mimic the entire structure of teeth, including both the root and the crown. After the implants get placed into the jawbone, they act like tooth roots, stimulating the surrounding tissue and helping it to stay strong and thick.

If you know you will soon need to undergo one or more tooth extractions, now is the time to talk to your dentist or periodontist in Allen about dental implants. They can get started on planning your implant procedure right away so you experience as little bone loss as possible. If it has already been a while since you lost your missing teeth, you may need to undergo a bone graft before your jaw is strong enough and large enough to support dental implants.

Would you like to learn more about dental implants and the benefits they offer? Contact Dr. Robertson’s office today to schedule your implant consultation.