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 cosmetics. Our dentists in Richmond dentist explains 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
If you put off getting a replacement tooth for a lost tooth, you run the risk of serious problems with your oral and general health due to ongoing bone loss. You have living tissue with newly formed cells in your jawbone, just like in other bones in your body. In a healthy jaw, these develop, eventually wear out, and are replaced by 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?
To help stop or reverse bone loss at the site of missing teeth, we may recommend a bone graft and dental implants, depending on your eligibility and a number of other factors. To replace the root of your lost tooth, a small titanium post will be implanted in your jaw. A crown or bridge will then be placed on top of the post to complete the tooth replacement. New bone cells will form around it and adhere to its surface as it heals. The bone will strengthen and fill in over time.
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.
In certain cases, a bone grafting procedure might be necessary to provide you with sufficient bone density so that the dental implant fuses correctly inside your jaw. Following the healing of the bone graft, osseointegration—the process by which the titanium implant fused with the jaw—occurs after dental implants are inserted.
It is critical to have dental implants placed soon after tooth loss. Ask your dentist in Richmond whether this option will be effective for you.