For generations, bridges and dentures were the go-to answers for missing teeth. These dental devices allowed an individual to smile fully, eat with confidence and speak with clarity. Plus, they offered relatively straightforward maintenance. However, what they could not do was protect the body from the problem of progressive bone loss.
Today, dental implants are the only replacement for missing teeth that not only are permanent, but are designed to prevent the loss of bone in the mouth.
Bone Loss and Missing Teeth Can Go Hand-in-Hand
When a tooth is removed or falls out (with the exception of baby teeth, which are naturally replaced by adult teeth) the experience is traumatic for the bone. No longer stimulated by the tooth root, the bone begins to break down and weaken. This process is known as reabsorption.
When you replace missing teeth with bridges and dentures, you solve only one issue: substitution of the tooth crown. Left unstimulated, the bone below the gum line gradually recedes, causing a “sunken in” look. Aside from being unappealing aesthetically, bone loss can change the look of your mouth and remaining teeth, causing them to shift.
Dental Implants: The Way to Avoid Bone Loss from Missing Teeth
Bone loss is a serious dilemma for patients and their dentists, because the only way to replace missing bone is with grafting or, in severe cases, reconstruction. Therefore, prevention by choosing dental implants, when available, over bridges or dentures is always a preferable step.
Dental implants are comprised of a post, abutment and crown. The post is surgically placed in the bone and mimics the stimulation of a tooth root. Patients with dental implants can save themselves from the worry associated with bone loss, as well as enjoy all the advantages of having a permanent missing tooth replacement.