If you have multiple missing teeth you may not be thinking about the effects that this has on bone loss in your jaw. At the Panorama Oral Surgery in Winnipeg, we offer a number of solutions to help patients replace missing teeth and also deal with the effects of bone loss.
The bone in the body acts very similar to a muscle. When muscles are exercised, they grow strong and larger. When bone is exercised or stimulated, it also becomes stronger.
When patients lose a tooth, their primary concern is often the gaps in their smile. Many of us don't consider the fact that a missing tooth directly impacts the structure of the jaw bone and tissue surrounding the tooth.
How do missing teeth cause bone loss?
The bone that supports the teeth, known as the alveolar bone, requires stimulation to maintain its form and density, which comes from the teeth themselves throughout the day. A missing tooth removes the stimulation and results in loss of the alveolar bone. In fact, there is a 25% decrease in width of bone during the first year of a lost tooth. As the bone density decreases, the gum tissue also decreases.
It begins a chain reaction. After the alveolar bone decreases, the jawbone begins to “melt away” and initiates a bite collapse.
The truth is: bone loss and depletion of bone density continues as missing teeth are not replaced. This has serious consequences, particular for older patients, who are more likely to be missing teeth.
Dental Implant Options for Patients with Bone Loss
Dental implants are fused and integrated into the jaw-bone. They act as anchors to support teeth. Patients who have worn dentures for many years often do not have enough bone to successfully support a dental implant. A bone graft procedure is often recommended for patients with insufficient bone.
Zygomatic implants are also a treatment option for patients without sufficient bone in their jaw. A Zygomatic Implant anchors into the cheek bone rather than the jaw bone.