If you’ve lost one of your teeth, you may be wondering what effects tooth loss can have on the rest of your mouth. Can a missing tooth really cause bone loss in your jaw bone? The answer is yes–unless you take steps to protect your oral health. Learn more in this blog from the New Horizon Institute, and find out how implant dentistry can protect your jaw bone!
When you lose a tooth, the underlying jaw bone will begin to weaken. Why? Because your tooth is responsible for stimulating the jaw bone and keeping it strong. Normally, your tooth puts pressure on your jaw bone when you chew, bite, and clench your teeth together.
This pressure stimulates the jaw bone and keeps it healthy and strong. But after you’ve lost a tooth, this no longer happens. There’s no stimulation of the jaw bone, so it will begin to deteriorate over time. This process is called “bone resorption,” and it can happen pretty quickly. According to some studies, you can lose up to 25% of the bone mass below a missing tooth within just one year.
So, how can you prevent bone resorption and protect your jaw bone? The answer is dental implants! Dental implants mimic the natural anatomy of a tooth. In the implant procedure, a titanium implant “post” is attached directly to your jaw bone. Over time, this post heals and bonds with your jaw tissue.
Then, a crown is attached to the implant post. When you chew, the pressure of chewing is sent through your crown, down the metal post, and into your jaw bone. This stimulates the bone tissue and keeps it strong, just like a natural tooth would.
It’s important to note that this is not the case with other restorative treatments, such as partial dentures or dental bridges. These will restore your tooth and prevent other issues like teeth shifting after tooth loss. However, dentures and bridges do not protect your jaw bone, so you may still experience bone loss with these procedures.
The answer is usually “yes!” Bone grafting is an option if you want a dental implant, but your jaw bone is weak or compromised. In this procedure, the doctor will open up your gums and jaw bone and pack bone granules into the treatment area.
Over time, the natural bone will heal around these granules. This creates healthy bone tissue, which is strong enough to accommodate a dental implant. So even if you’ve lost some of your bone tissue already, you may still be a candidate for dental implants at New Horizon Institute.
At New Horizon Institute, dental implants are our specialty, and we're here to serve members of our community who may not otherwise be able to afford the cost of dental implants. If you are missing one or more teeth in Tempe and you’d like to see if dental implants are right for you, just contact us online or give us a call at (480) 664-2270. Our team is always accepting new patients, and we’d love to have the chance to meet you, discuss your options, and give you more information about the benefits of implant dentistry.