How Dental Implants Prevent Jawbone Loss
Losing one or more teeth doesn’t just mean a prematurely aged appearance – it can have serious health consequences. One complication that may go unnoticed for some time is jawbone loss.
How missing teeth cause jawbone loss
When you have a missing tooth, jawbone loss occurs beneath the surface of your gums – but why? Bone is living cellular tissue and just like the body’s other cells, bone has a life cycle whereby cells form, live and eventually dissolve and are replaced by new cells. Your jawbone receives stimulation from forces that are produced as a result of chewing. When you lose a tooth, the jawbone no longer receives this stimulation and no new cells are created, resulting in jawbone loss (known as resorption).
How do dental implants tackle jawbone loss?
Dental implants replace your tooth root, mimicking the function of a real tooth. A restoration such as a crown or bridge is placed over the top of the implant to restore aesthetic and is created to be in-keeping with your existing teeth. Because the implant mimics a tooth root, tissues begin to grow around the implant, putting a stop to jawbone loss because it receives the correct rate of stimulation. Failing to replace a tooth as promptly as possible brings about fast-occurring consequences. In the first year after losing a tooth, you can lose up to 25% of your jawbone and this continues at an estimated rate of 4mm a year.
Dental implants vs dentures
Dentures are a popular and affordable choice for replacing a missing tooth, but do not have the capacity to preserve the jawbone as dental implants do. Because they are a removable solution, they do not fuse with the jawbone in the way that dental implants do over time, which can eventually result in facial collapse.
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