How Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss
What happens when you lose your teeth?
Several things happen when you lose your teeth. Most obviously, your smile is affected, which can impact your confidence. Missing teeth affect your ability to eat and speak, making both simple tasks significantly more difficult. One of the biggest impacts of tooth loss, however, is not seen with the naked eye, at least not right away.
Teeth have an important role in keeping your jawbone strong and stable. When you chew, your teeth stimulate your jawbone, which sends a message to your body that nutrients are needed. When you lose your teeth, this message is weakened. As a result, fewer nutrients are sent. Your jawbone begins to weaken and resorb. This then leads to the bone changing shape. Any remaining teeth shift from their natural position, causing your bite to be thrown off (which leads to several other issues such as uneven tooth wear and jaw pain). The shape of your face also changes and can age you by several years.
How are implants placed?
Implants, unlike other methods of tooth replacement (dentures, partials, bridges), require a surgical procedure. After a local anesthetic is applied to the surgical sites, incisions are made in your gum tissue. Using a specialized drill, we create holes in your jawbone. The titanium rods are then placed into the holes. Your gums are sutured closed around the implants, leaving a small amount exposed. After you have healed, abutments are placed on the tops of the implants, and your permanent teeth affixed with screws.
How Implants Prevent Bone Loss
As stated previously, your teeth are essential to the health and integrity of your jawbone. Without teeth, this stimulation is lost, and you begin to lose bone mass. Other options of tooth replacement — dentures, partials, and bridges — cannot replace the roots of your teeth. As a result, even though the teeth are replaced, the jawbone still continues to deteriorate. This is one of the biggest factors that sets implants apart.
Unlike other forms of tooth replacement, which sit on the gums, implants are placed into the jawbone and support your replacement teeth. When you chew, the implants imitate the functions of the roots of your teeth and stimulate the jawbone. This allows the message to continue to be sent to your body that nutrients are needed at the jaw. These nutrients help to keep the bone strong. Implants help to maintain the integrity and shape of your jawbone and helps to prevent your face from aging prematurely.
If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, and finding out if you are a candidate, contact Drs. Scheetz & Rekos: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons of Ohio!
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Dublin, OH 43017
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