Why Dental Implants Are Your Jawbone’s Best Friend
When we think about dental implants, our first thought is usually that they’re a method of replacing teeth and tackling tooth loss. Dental implants replace your tooth’s root and “trick” the body into believing there is a new tooth present. As well as their ability to restore function and aesthetic, they also play a huge role when it comes to the health of your jawbone…
What happens to your jawbone when you lose a tooth?
Before we talk about the essential role your jawbone plays in the context of tooth health, let’s take a look at what happens to the area of the jawbone under the missing tooth (or teeth) in question.
Your jawbone is stimulated through actions like chewing and speaking – when you talk your teeth make thousands of tiny, subtle connections that you don’t notice day-to-day. When you lose a tooth, your jawbone no longer receives the stimulation it needs to keep the surrounding tissues growing. As a result, it starts to resorb (retreat) into the body. Unfortunately the rate of bone loss is significant in the first year after you lose a tooth; a whopping 25% of bone can disappear.
What are the repercussions of jawbone loss?
Jawbone resorption can bring about both physical and emotional problems that can have a noticeable impact on a person’s life. As your jawbone shrinks, your facial structure changes. The loss of your ridge bone causes your chin and nose to move closer together, resembling an underbite, and wrinkles begin to form around your mouth and cheeks due to sagging skin. The consequences of these facial changes can result in you looking older than your actual age and in turn, might leave you lacking in confidence. Dental implants are the one and only answer for preventing these facial changes.
Why can’t dentures salvage my jawbone?
As we mentioned above, dental implants mimic a real tooth root, which triggers the jawbone into thinking it needs to start functioning again. But how is this achieved? The titanium implant is inserted into the jawbone via a surgical procedure and left to fuse with it over time. As titanium is highly biocompatible and resistant to bodily fluids, the implant makes itself at home as a part of your body with ease.
Because dentures are a removable answer to missing teeth, they can’t offer the support your jawbone needs. Dentures will no doubt improve functionality and aesthetic but in the long-term they can’t protect your jawbone from resorption.
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