Did you know dental implants can stop or reverse bone loss as a result of missing teeth? The benefits of this permanent solution go far beyond cosmetic. Our dentists in Richmond explain how we can address a number of oral health issues.
If you are missing one or more teeth, your dentist may recommend a bone grafting procedure and dental implant to restore lost bone density, resolve your oral health issue and restore your smile so it's once again natural-looking and functional. That said, when it comes to deciding whether to get dental implants, time is of the essence as continuing bone deterioration is a serious issue for your oral and overall health.
How Bone Loss Occurs
Delaying the replacement of a lost tooth can have major consequences for your oral and overall health, as continuing bone deterioration occurs. Similar to other bones in the body, your jawbone contains living tissue with cells that are created. These grow, eventually wear out and, in a healthy jaw, are replaced with new cells.
The normal process of eating and chewing play a critical role in this growth cycle; as we chew, the force travels through our tooth roots to stimulate bone growth in the jaw. But with a missing tooth, this process is disrupted and the stimulus ends.
Over time, bone cells are not replaced at an adequate rate and the bone gradually loses volume. Not only that, but bone loss can continue beyond the immediate bone beneath the tooth, impacting the rest of the jawbone. The jawbone can shrink, becoming weaker and more vulnerable to fracture.
Can dental implants stop or reverse bone deterioration?
Depending on your eligibility and numerous factors, we may recommend a bone graft and dental implants to help stop or reverse bone loss at the site of missing teeth. A small titanium post will be implanted in your jaw to replace the root of your missing tooth, and later be capped with a tooth replacement such as a crown or bridge. As it heals, new bone cells will grow around it and adhere to its surface. The bone will gradually fill in and become stronger.
Why You May Need Bone Grafting Surgery
If your jawbone is not strong enough to support an implant, you may need a bone grafting procedure to stimulate bone growth and increase bone density in the jaw before the dental implant can be placed.
Depending on your circumstances, a bone grafting procedure may be critical to giving you enough bone density for the dental implant to correctly fuse together inside the jaw. After the bone graft has healed, dental implants are placed and a process called osseointegration occurs to allow the titanium implant to fuse with the jaw.
It is critical to have dental implants placed soon after tooth loss. Ask your dentist at Saba Road Dental Center whether this option will be effective for you.