You may have heard that dental implants from trusted dentists like Dr. Daiana Atari are the best way to protect your long-term oral health. They may be more costly than other alternatives like dental bridges or dentures.
But thanks to their long lifespan and unique ability to keep your jaw healthy, they’re worth the investment. Read on to learn more about dental implants, and get the details about how they keep your jaw bone strong.
To understand how dental implants keep your jaw bone healthy, we need to start by discussing bone resorption. This concept is actually quite simple to understand. Normally, the roots of your teeth stimulate your jaw bone when you bite and chew. The force of chewing is sent through the tooth, and stimulates the jaw bone to keep it strong.
But when you lose a tooth, this no longer happens. And if your jaw is not stimulated by chewing and biting, it will start to become weaker. The bone will become thinner and less dense. This is called “bone resorption.” You’ll usually lose about 25% of your bone mass within a year of losing your tooth.
So, how do dental implants prevent bone resorption? Because the metal implant “post” is implanted directly into your gums and jaw bone. As it heals, the natural bone heals around it, locking it in place permanently.
Then, when you have your dental crown placed and start chewing and biting with your new tooth, this stimulates the jaw bone. Just like a natural tooth, a dental implant transmits biting and chewing forces into the jaw. In turn, this stops the bone from becoming weaker. In fact, a dental implant can actually strengthen the jaw over time if some minor bone loss has already occurred.
Other replacements for missing teeth, such as dentures and dental bridges, don’t have the same effect. That’s because they merely sit on top of the jaw. While they can stop things like teeth shifting due to tooth loss, they won’t prevent bone resorption from occurring.
As mentioned, the jaw bone in the affected area will start to weaken. Eventually, it may become too weak to support a dental implant in the future. It is possible to get a bone graft to restore your jaw bone and get a dental implant, but this adds a lot of time and expense to the procedure. Because of this, it’s better to get a dental implant right away while your jaw is still healthy and a bone graft is not necessary.
The other major complication is that your appearance may change, particularly if you’re missing multiple teeth. As your jaw bone weakens, your face may start to look more “sunken” due to the loss of jaw bone mass. This can make you look older than you really are, and may negatively affect your self-image and self-esteem.
If you think a dental implant in Raleigh or the Triangle area may be right for you, Dr. Daiana Atari is here to help. Contact us online or call today at (919) 298-2308 to schedule a consultation with our team and get the help you need to replace your missing teeth.