Tooth loss causes many problems, the obvious one being the inability to chew certain foods. The most detrimental and long-lasting problem, however, is bone loss. When teeth are lost, bone loss is inevitable. Bone needs constant stimulation to maintain its form and density. Without the pressure and stimulation of teeth, the signals for the bone to regenerate itself are lost. As a result, the bone begins to disintegrate. Within the first year of tooth loss, the jawbone can decrease in width by 25%. If multiple teeth are lost, the lower third of the face can partially collapse due to a loss of the structure of the jawbone. Those missing teeth may also experience the following:
- Increased risk of jaw fracture
- Shifting of remaining teeth
- Improper bite, known as TMJ
- Jaw pain
- Compromised nutrition
Dental Implants and Bone Loss Prevention
If you have lost teeth and are searching for treatment, Dr. Schold and Dr. Smars in Minneapolis can help. Your professional family dentist will discuss long-term viable options including dental implants. Dental implants not only vastly improve your smile, they also prevent the bone loss that can become problematic. Because the metal in dental implants is titanium, it has the unique ability to fuse with the jawbone. As a result, dental implants stabilize and stimulate the bone to maintain its proper volume and density.
Dental implants are placed through a minor surgical procedure using local anesthetic. After healing, the implants are topped with dental crowns. With the look and feel of natural teeth, the success rate of dental implants is 95%–the highest rating among tooth replacement options.
Other Tooth Replacement Options
If dental implants are not a viable treatment option for your tooth loss, other options include bridgework or removable dentures. The risks associated with either bridgework or removable dentures include potential damage to the anatomical structures on which they rest. In terms of bridgework, fixed bridges for example affix to adjacent teeth for support, subjecting those teeth to additional stress, as well as necessary filing down and capping. This results in the increased risk of tooth decay and root canal problems. Removable partial dentures, meanwhile, hook onto existing teeth, which may cause them to loosen over time. Full removable dentures press on the ridges that support the teeth—accelerating the bone loss that began when teeth were lost in the first place.
If you have lost teeth and are exploring treatment options, look no further than Bluff Creek Dental. Schedule an appointment with our team of family dentistry professionals today!