Tooth loss has far-reaching effects on a patient’s oral health. In addition to a lack of confidence in one’s smile and the difficulty that tooth loss presents with speaking and eating, missing one or more teeth has negative effects on the entire oral health system, far beyond what’s visible to the naked eye.
One of the many problems associated with tooth loss is bone resorption, a process by which the jawbone is reabsorbed by the body after tooth loss. Our periodontist offers helpful information on the effects of bone resorption and how replacing missing teeth with dental implants can promote bone health along with a restored smile and renewed oral function.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants replace the crown and the roots of a tooth. By inserting a textured titanium rod into the jawbone, which will ultimately mimic the function of a tooth’s roots, and attaching a prosthetic crown to the rod, a dental implant provides a restoration that functions and appears like a natural tooth—above and below the gum line.
How can dental implants preserve bone?
Bone resorption occurs over time. As the jawbone disintegrates, the shape of the mouth changes significantly. This process can affect the placement and stability of prosthetics such as dentures or bridges. Because of bone loss in the jaw, patients may require multiple sets of dentures over time. Fortunately, dental implants prevent bone loss because of a process called osseointegration.
Due to the unique structure of titanium, the bone naturally fuses around the implant. Not only does this process provide stability to an implant, osseointegration is comparable to the way bone fuses to roots of teeth. By mimicking the support structure of teeth and bone, the body is far less likely to reabsorb bone mass in the jaw.
To determine if you are a candidate for dental implants, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with our skilled periodontist, Dr. Beth Tomlin. Our experienced team will evaluate your oral health and the cause of your tooth loss to create the best treatment plan for your needs.