Tooth loss is a common issue with lots of people around the world. It is so common that we barely think of what happens after we lose a tooth. When we lose one or more teeth, there are many factors that happen inside your mouth apart from losing your confident smile, and one of them is bone loss. Thankfully, our team at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS uses dental implants to prevent them from happening. It is important to understand how implants prevent bone loss and restore oral functionality and health.
How Tooth Loss Causes Bone Loss
When we lose a tooth right from the socket, the jawbone loses the stimulation it gets from the tooth root. This stimulation is how the jawbone preserves its structure. The stimulation happens when we bite, chew, or generally use our teeth. Once the stimulation is lost, the jawbone in that empty socket begins to lose its weight, height, shape, and functionality. Over time, the space becomes sunken, affecting the facial structure around it. Even the surrounding teeth suffer, as they do not have the support from the missing teeth. Dental implants prevent all these from happening through a process known as osseointegration.
What is Osseointegration?
Osseointegration is how implants prevent bone loss. “Osseo” is a term used medically to refer to your bone. Since integration means combining two or more items to be a whole one, osseointegration is the process of bonding the jawbone to a dental implant. Our bones naturally grow, but when there is no tooth root in a socket, the jawbone would not grow in the right direction. Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone to act as tooth roots. After the implant is placed, the jawbone naturally heals and grows while bonding to the dental implant.
How Implants Prevent Bone Loss
Dental implants have been proven as an efficient solution for tooth replacement and the prevention of bone loss. As implants are artificial tooth roots, they do the job of your natural tooth root when they are placed. Once the jawbone has grown around the dental implant and bonded to it, the implant can receive an artificial tooth, and the jawbone can continue to receive stimulation. As the jawbone receives adequate stimulation, it can continue to grow while maintaining its shape, vigor, and functionality.
What if a Patient Already Has Extensive Bone Loss?
As it is surprisingly common for patients to have a significant amount of bone loss, our professionals have customized remedies for such patients. When patients have tooth loss ranging over a long period, there is always a significant degree of atrophy in the jawbone. This could make it difficult to place dental implants successfully, so you might need a bone graft procedure. Bone grafts will help us to rebuild your jawbone to the required density so that you can get dental implants successfully.
While osseointegration ensures that your bones grow to keep your dental implants in place, the patient should also be in good health, generally and orally. Habits such as smoking can reduce the possibility of healthy osseointegration and lower the chances of a successful dental implant. If you are considering dental implants, please do not hesitate to reach us at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS today at (503) 967-0877 to schedule a consultation.