The Ins and Outs of Dental Implants for Jawbone Health

by | Jul 30, 2023

Dental implants are among the most widely used tooth replacement options. They deliver exceptional function and aesthetics and also support oral health. Dental implants for jaw bone health provide a solution to the long-term impact of jaw bone deterioration.

Tooth Loss and Jawbone Deterioration

More than 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, with around 40 million having no teeth.[1] Losing teeth can affect your life in many ways. Whether you’re missing one, several, or all of your teeth, you can experience an impact on your confidence and your ability to eat and speak naturally.

However, there are also serious health concerns. Missing one or more teeth opens the door to alignment issues as the remaining natural teeth shift into the gaps. There is also jawbone loss and deterioration to worry about. This takes place over years and can seriously impact your oral health and facial appearance.

Healthy natural teeth provide stimulation for the jawbone through the tooth roots. This keeps the jawbone strong and dense. When you lose one or more teeth, that section of the jawbone no longer receives stimulation and can start to lose density and shrink over time. If you’re missing all of your teeth, the entire jawbone begins to deteriorate.

People who have lived without teeth for many years often develop a distinct shrunken facial appearance due to jawbone deterioration. Jawbone loss also leaves you more susceptible to injury, as the weakened bone can fracture or break more easily.

Dental Implants for Jawbone Health

Finding a way to reliably prevent bone loss is a top priority when choosing a tooth replacement option. Unfortunately, many traditional methods don’t do anything to stop jawbone deterioration. Traditional dentures sit on top of the gums, causing no stimulation to the jawbone. This means that bone loss continues even with dentures.

Dental implants for jawbone health are an incredibly effective solution. Your dental implants are surgically embedded in the jawbone to provide a strong foundation for replacement teeth. In addition to allowing for natural eating and speaking, this also stimulates the jawbone, much like natural tooth roots.

If you have any gaps in your smile or have no remaining natural teeth, dental implants are likely the best solution for your long-term oral health. Dental implants support jawbone health for decades, preventing deterioration from impacting your appearance and quality of life.

Dental Implants for Jawbone Health: Dealing with Existing Jawbone Deterioration

Ideally, patients will have dental implants placed shortly after tooth extraction or loss. However, this often isn’t the case. Many patients have lived with gaps in their smile or few to no remaining teeth for years before seeking out dental implants. In these cases, jawbone deterioration can impact your candidacy for dental implants.

As the jawbone deteriorates, it loses the strength and size required to support dental implants. Placing implants as-is would dramatically increase the risk of failure. However, there are solutions to allow a wider range of patients to access this treatment.

Oral surgeries, such as ridge augmentation and sinus lifts, graft bone tissue in key areas to provide additional support for dental implants. They are sometimes needed to increase the thickness of naturally thin bone, but they can also offer a solution for many patients who have already experienced jawbone deterioration.

Finding the Right Solution for Your Oral Health

Patients with one, several, or all of their teeth missing can visit Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester to discuss their tooth replacement options. Dental implants are often the best choice to support long-term health, and options such as bone grafts can improve your candidacy. Book an appointment today to find out more. 585-685-2005.

 

Sources:

[1] https://www.prosthodontics.org/assets/1/7/ACP_Talking_points_for_Missing_Teeth_1-12-15.pdf

 

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