When people lose teeth or have chronic gum disease, bone loss is a typical result. Dentists often recommend that people replace their missing teeth with dental implants. However, before replacing missing teeth, dentists usually discuss dental implant bone loss repair and how it will affect the life of their patient.
Causes of Bone Loss
When people need dental implants due to bone loss, the bone that needs repairs is called the alveolar bone. This bone holds the teeth in place. But due to several health issues, the alveolar ridges can weaken horizontally and vertically.
Bone stays healthy when it is used. So, the alveolar bone, or jaw bone, remains healthy through good oral hygiene and regular exercise. When teeth fall out, or gum tissue deteriorates, bone loss happens. Bone loss can affect the way people look by prematurely ageing them.
Dentures and Tooth Removal
Full or partial dentures can increase bone loss. When people chew with their dentures, the jaw bone moves, but it does not use the same pressure to eat as it does with natural teeth in place. Removing teeth, especially the upper molars, can also increase bone loss as the added space lets the sinus cavity grow from added air-pressure space.
Dentures are a leading cause of bone loss. Along with reducing pressure on the jaw bone, they force the jaw to begin the resorption process. The limited pressure that dentures put on the jaw bone eventually reduces the size of the jaw. Often, the jaw bone collapses due to the resorption, and this becomes evident as it reduces the size of the lower third of the face.
Infections and Tumors
Bone loss is a common problem with people who have had infections in their jaws or gums. Infections will not immediately damage the bone, but can slowly destroy it over time. Tumours on the face or in the mouth often result in the removal of some of the jaw.
The health of jawbones relies on regular chewing. So, when the teeth are misaligned, areas of the bone that do not receive stimulation through chewing can begin to degrade. Fortunately, orthodontics can help realign teeth and stop bone loss from occurring.
How Dental Implants Can Prevent Bone Loss
Rather than suffer through bone loss, dentists can help prevent and repair it with dental implants. If bone loss and tooth decay are caught early, dentists can use implants to replace a problematic tooth immediately. With an implant, the alveolar bone functions in the same way as it does with natural teeth. If more than one tooth has to be removed, dentists can place a fixed implant-supported bridge.
Implants are inserted into the jawbone via a titanium screw, which allows the jaw to function at almost the same level as it would with natural teeth. If bone loss has already occurred, your dentist might recommend a bone graft to replace what was lost. The bone graft can also stimulate the jaw to begin replacing bone naturally.