Dental Implants are the ONLY tooth replacement option that stimulates and preserves bone levels.
Why does bone lose occur when teeth are lost?
Bone needs stimulation to maintain its size and volume. In the case of jaw bone that surrounds and supports teeth, the required stimulation comes from the teeth themselves. The forces of chewing are transmitted into the bone which stimulates the bone. When a tooth is lost, the lack of stimulation causes deterioration of the jaw bone. There is a 25% decrease in width of bone during the first year after tooth loss and the bone loss continues forever.
This photo shows a lower jaw bone that has lost 60% of its width following an extraction and normal healing. The black arrows indicate where bone is located and the red arrows indicate the normal width that should be there. This rapid bone loss following extraction and the continued bone loss through life makes replacing missing teeth difficult.
The main function of the jaw bone is to support teeth. When teeth are lost there is rapid loss of bone because the bone is no longer needed. The bone loss around the missing teeth continues throughout life. The only way to prevent this bone loss is with a dental implant. Dental implants are complete replications of natural teeth. They are anchored in the jaw bone just like natural teeth. When one chews on teeth or dental implants, the chewing forces are transmitted to the bone. This force stimulates the bone keeping the bone healthy and dense.
The above picture illustrates how the bone disappears when teeth are lost. The bone no longer has to support the teeth so the bone atrophies. The deterioration of the bone continues forever causing severe bone defects in the jaw. The only way to prevent bone loss after tooth loss is through the utilization of a dental implant. The implant is placed in the jaw bone where it imitates a natural tooth. The implant preserves and stimulates the surrounding bone keeping the bone healthy and strong.
This picture shows the rapid and continual bone loss when one looses all of their teeth. The jaw bone becomes extremely compromised and brittle.
Bone Loss Negative Cosmetic Consequences:
- Loss of facial height
- Loss of support for the lips
- Increased wrinkles
- A frowning appearance while at rest
- Collapse of the chin
- Chin rotates to a more forward position
- Deceased muscle tone in the face
- Skin around the lips thin from the lack of muscle tone
- Extreme elderly appearance
There is a continuous loss of bone throughout life. The more negative consequences and complex problems associated with complete absence of teeth include:
- Muscle attachment of the lower jaw moves near the crest of the jaw.
- New muscles positioning dislodges dentures.
- As the bone is lost, muscle attachments change and there are increased sore spots.
- There is a progressive decrease in keratinized gum tissue with thinning of mucosa. This results in a increased sensitivity to abrasion injuries.
- Paresthesia (tingling or numbness) of lower jaw due to irritation of lower jaw nerves.
- The tongue enlarges to fill in the missing space. The increased size of the tongue dislodges dentures.
- The tongue is more active role in chewing and decreases denture stability.
- The lower one third of the face collapses and presents an elderly appearance.
- Increased risk of lower jaw breakage due to bone loss.
The complete loss of teeth creates a very grim future for patients. Old fashioned dentures do not stimulate and maintain bone. In fact, dentures accelerate the bone loss. Patients in old fashioned dentures often become “oral invalids” There are a myriad of complex problems that arise when a patient is missing all of their teeth. In the past the only choice for patients was dentures. However, modern dental implants have overcome the problems associated with missing all of ones teeth. Discover the advantages of dental implant dentures.