Not so long ago, the most cost-effective option for tooth loss was a removable denture. These prosthetic, false teeth set in pink-colored acrylic plastic bases can effectively restore function and appearance. Unfortunately, it accelerates bone loss in the jaw.
Removable dentures cannot provide this stimulation. In fact, the pressure they create compresses the gum’s bony ridges and it can promote bone loss. The bone will shrink will no longer match the contours of the dentures. This explains why over time, denture’s fit can become loose.
Recently though, a new development has been able to provide better support to dentures while simultaneously preventing bone loss. Dentures are now best supported by dental implants.
What is Bone Loss?
Like other tissues, old bone cells die and become absorbed in the body. This process is called resorption. Normally, they are replaced by new, healthier cells. The forces generated when we chew our food travel through the teeth to encourage this new growth. This stimulus ends though when we lose our teeth, thus causing bone loss.
It is believed that 25% of the jaw bone is lost within 1 year after a tooth loss. Even after fitting dentures, the pressure exerted on the gums is not very significant, just 10% of the natural teeth.
If you lose upper back molars, the sinus cavity will expand and since there are no teeth, the extra pressure on the gums will initiate the resorption of the bone into the sinus cavity. This is also best corrected using dental implants.
How Does Dental Implants Work?
The science behind dental implants is fascinating. Titanium screws are secured into the jaw by a dentist and prosthetic tooth or crown caps it all off. The titanium will fuse with the bone over time, which creates an incredibly strong anchor.
Dental implants are fitted to your mouth using a mold a guided 3D imagery. Dentists can construct an entire image of your mouth and craft an implant that will fit perfectly within the required space. The whole process can take anywhere from 3 to 9 months, depending on how quickly the titanium implant fuses to your bone.
Unlike other cosmetic procedures available to fill your missing teeth, dental implants are permanent. They rest in your jaw without having to worry about them becoming loose or popping out every time you eat or talk. As mentioned above, they exert the same amount of force as your natural teeth against your jawbone which keeps them healthy and functional.
Can You Still Do An Implant When There Is Too Much Bone Loss?
Is there such a thing as too much bone loss for implants? Many assume that when too much bone density is already lost, dental implants are no longer an option. This is not true. Your dentist can do bone grafting first to add more bone to specific areas before putting the implant into place.
To be sure of the state of decay and how much bone is still left, your dentist will request for an X-ray. It will measure the amount of calcium and other bone materials to determine the bone density. If the results showed that you lack bone for implants to be secured, then you can start the bone graft.
The grafting procedure involves the process of taking bone from somewhere else and securing it in the required area. The bone can be taken from the chin, shinbone, or hip. This technique has made it possible for several people to receive dental implants in areas that would otherwise decay quickly and leave them with serious oral health problems.
The Dangers of Not Acting Fast
Again, one of the initial signs that you are losing bone density is a missing tooth. Whether it falls out on its own or through an accident or injury, the bone density determines how weak a tooth becomes. Without the reinforcing presence of a tooth, your bone in the jaw area will soon start shrinking.
Also, it makes the surrounding teeth brittle too. With time, this will cause a destructive cycle in which teeth will continue to deteriorate and fall out, affecting your ability to speak and chew.
It is very important to fill those gaps immediately. The longer you wait, the more bone density you will lose.
Because of how crucial a role time plays in the decaying of jaw bone density, you should schedule an appointment with a dentist now. Part of our holistic services is to help preserve your natural oral habits. We, at Sunrise Dentistry, can help you get dental implants with bone loss. Call us at (970) 247-3303.