Dental Implants Can Stop Bone Loss
Dental bone loss is a serious and distressing condition that can have a wide range of consequences. Not only can it lead to tooth loss, gum recession, and a sunken-in facial appearance, particularly around the mouth, but it can also heighten one’s risk of oral infection. For these reasons, it is important to take steps to prevent bone loss from occurring in the first place. In cases in which bone loss has already begun, however, there are things that can be done to address it, once of which is simply replacing missing teeth with dental implants.
How Dental Implants Work
Dental implants are a multi-part tooth replacement technology made of either titanium or zirconia that replace every part of a missing tooth, from the root to the crown. The prosthetic root, otherwise referred to as the implant fixture, is first surgically implanted into the jawbone in an initial surgical procedure, where it is then left to fully integrate with the bone.
After this process of osseointegration has taken place, a connecting piece called an abutment is then attached to the top of the implant fixture, below the surface of the gums. This piece juts out just over the surface of the gums. It is with this piece that the implant crown is finally attached. All in all, the installation of dental implants usually takes somewhere between two and six months. Though it is a lengthy procedure, the benefits are multiple and varied, including incredibly strong, durable, and natural looking teeth that can also help preserve bone health.
How Dental Implants Preserve Bone Health
Bone health is preserved by dental implants due to the ways in which they allow the prosthetic teeth to continue to communicate with the jawbone. This happens primarily through the implant fixture; embedded deep into the jawbone, it is able to absorb the impact of everyday biting and chewing. While it seems that this would provide a benefit to the teeth more than the jaw, it benefits both; at the same time that the biting and chewing power of the replacement teeth are increased by the connection to the jaw, the bone mass of the jaw is also stimulated and maintained by the pressure channeled by the teeth into the implant fixture. This stimulation sends a crucial message to the hard tissues of the jawbone: You’re still needed, keep going!
Why Dental Implants are Better than Conventional Dentures in Stopping Bone Loss
Unlike dental implants, conventional dentures and bridges are not anchored into the jaw but rather sit on the ridge of the gumline. Because these forms of tooth replacement only replace the crown of the tooth and not the roots, they don’t provide the same benefits as dental implants in terms of continuing bone health. Rather than channeling the impact of biting and chewing into the jaw, where that stimulation can promote healthy bone tissue, that impact goes into the soft tissues of the gums, where it provides no benefit. So for stronger teeth and a healthier jaw, opt for dental implants for tooth replacement whenever possible.