Stop Jawbone Atrophy with Dental Implants
One of the most significant advances in modern dentistry over the past few decades is the dental implant. This innovative device allows patients to get a complete structural tooth replacement when a natural tooth is lost to decay or disease.
If your dentist recommends a bridge or dentures (depending on how many teeth you’ve lost), you should also explore whether dental implants may be appropriate for your case.
Dental implants have important advantages in comparison to tooth replacement alternatives. One of these is stability.
When a tooth is lost and its root is absent, the jawbone material in the vicinity wears away.
An oral surgeon can prevent that outcome, however, by placing dental implants to replicate the tooth’s root and stop the atrophy. Dental implants replace that missing root and prevent the resorption from occurring. Other tooth replacement treatments only include the visible crown component of the tooth and do not offer such protection against bone atrophy.
Jawbone atrophy can have serious consequences, so it’s important to consider the long-term ramifications of the tooth replacement method you choose, in addition to short-term characteristics like upfront cost and treatment timeline.
In the case of a single missing tooth, ongoing jawbone erosion may put the neighboring teeth at risk. If the bone that anchors the remaining teeth is weakened, those teeth may also become loose. Eventually, they may need to be removed. This is of particular concern to patients with a fixed permanent bridge, as those adjoining teeth secure the bridge. These patients will need to get a new appliance if the anchor teeth are no longer in place.
For edentulous patients, or those who have lost all of their teeth, jawbone atrophy is still an issue. As the jawbone changes shape, a denture will lose its fit. Furthermore, the shrinking jawbone will give the patient an aged appearance.
Jawbone atrophy following tooth loss can have a major impact on your quality of life. Fortunately, this phenomenon can be prevented with dental implants. Contact one of the local offices of Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center to find out if implants will be effective in your situation.