Missing teeth affect more than just the appearance of your smile, it can also lead to serious dental concerns such as bone loss. Here, our dentists in Surrey share the causes and effects of bone loss and how dental implants may be able to stop or even reverse it.
While the most obvious area that missing teeth can affect is the appearance of your smile. But did you know that missing teeth can also cause a loss of bone density as your jawbone begins to deteriorate? Luckily, with the option of bone grafting and tooth replacement surgery, our dentists can help restore your smile. 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.
Can missing teeth contribute to bone loss in your jaw?
Your dentist will recommend replacing your teeth using dental implants at the first signs that you are experiencing bone loss. Similar to other bones in the body, your jawbone contains living tissue with cells that are created. Like all others in your body, these cells grow until they wear out, at which point your body will replace them with new cells. Once this has happened, the process will start all over again.
The normal process of eating and chewing plays 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 when you are missing teeth, your jaw will no longer be stimulated in that area, causing new cell production to slow, leading to bone loss.
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. This bone loss can affect the density of the jaw bone, making it weaker and more susceptible to fractures.
How can dental implants help to prevent bone loss?
Our dental professionals in Surrey offer dental implants as an option to help restore the function of your 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. As the new cells develop and grow in your jaw bone will thicken and become larger and stronger.
Will you need a bone grafting procedure when getting dental implants?
Your dentist may recommend a bone grafting procedure prior to your dental implant in order to kickstart the cell production process and provide you with a solid foundation for your implant.
Depending on your circumstances, a bone grafting procedure may be critical to giving you enough bone density for the dental implant to fuse together correctly inside the jaw. After the bone graft has healed, dental implants are placed and osseointegration occurs to allow the titanium implant to fuse with the jaw.
If you have missing teeth then it is imperative that you look into tooth replacement options as soon as possible to prevent further complications. Ask your dentist at Guildford Dental whether bone grafting may be right for you.