Did you know dental implants can stop or reverse bone loss as a result of missing teeth? The benefits of this permanent solution go far beyond cosmetics. Our dentists in Langley explain how we can address a number of oral health issues.
If you are missing one or more of your teeth, your dentist may recommend a bone grafting procedure and then a dental implant. This should help you to restore lost bone density, resolve your oral health issue, and restore your natural-looking and functional smile. However, when deciding about dental implants, you should make a decision sooner rather than later. Continued bone deterioration is a serious issue for your oral and overall health.
How Bone Loss Occurs
Delaying replacing a lost tooth can have serious impacts for your oral and overall health. Your jawbone, like other bones in your body, has living tissue and newly-forming cells. These develop, wear out, and are replaced with new cells in a healthy jaw.
The normal process of eating and chewing plays an important role in this growth cycle; as we chew, the force travels through our tooth roots to stimulate bone growth in the jaw. With a missing tooth, however, this process is disrupted and the stimulus is lost.
Over time, bone cells are not replaced at an adequate rate and the bone gradually loses volume. Not only that, but bone loss can continue beyond the immediate bone beneath the tooth, impacting the rest of the jawbone. The jawbone can shrink, becoming weaker and more vulnerable to fracture.
Can dental implants stop or reverse bone deterioration?
We might recommend a bone graft and dental implants to help stop or reverse bone loss where there are missing teeth. But this will depend on your eligibility and a number of other factors. A small titanium screw is implanted in your jaw to replace the root of your missing tooth, and it will be capped with a tooth replacement like a crown or bridge. New bone cells will form around it and adhere to its surface as it heals. The bone will gradually fill in and strengthen over time.
Why You May Need Bone Grafting Surgery
If your jawbone is not strong enough to support an implant, you may need a bone grafting procedure to stimulate bone growth and increase bone density in the jaw before the dental implant can be placed.
A bone grafting procedure might be required so you can have enough bone density for the dental implant to fuse together inside the jaw. Dental implants are inserted after the bone graft has healed. After, a process called osseointegration takes place to allow the titanium implant to fuse with the jaw.
It is critical to have dental implants placed soon after tooth loss. Ask your dentist in Langley whether this option will be effective for you.