Have you noticed that the bones in your jaw aren’t as strong as they used to be? This could be due to skipping regular visits to the dentist, a lack of brushing, or due to genetics. Deterioration of the bone in your jaw is a real occurrence that can be dangerous and has life-changing consequences. Did you know that there is a way to help prevent bone loss and keep your teeth and jaw healthy?
Read on to find out more.
A dental implant to suit your smile
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that a dentist inserts into the jaw to support an artificial tooth or bridge. They replace missing teeth and fill the gaps left behind by those teeth. Tooth implants are affixed with crowns and work to prevent deterioration of the jawbone.
Not only do tooth implants look like natural teeth, but they also function the same way. They can even be made to match the colour and appearance of your other teeth.
Other ways to fill in gaps from missing teeth are dental bridges or dentures, but using either of these does nothing to stop bone loss from continuing. Although they improve the smile’s appearance, dentures and bridges do not impact the jaw or bone since they are not placed in the bones like implants.
Dental implants are a permanent solution for your tooth loss. They are securely placed in your jawbone, unlike dentures, which can slip and fall out when you’re eating or talking. Dental implants support the same amount of force as natural teeth, preserving the health and functionality of your jawbone.
The dental implant procedure
The screws holding the implant in place are made of titanium, which is a strong and lightweight metal. Once the screw is secured into the jaw by the dentist, a false tooth or crown is placed over it. Eventually, the titanium of the implant will fuse with the bone to create a very sturdy connection. Thanks to this process, the patient will be able to use the implant as if it were their original tooth. Not only can dental implants be used to fill a single missing tooth, but they can also replace multiple teeth. If you’re worried about getting an implant to fix a large gap in your teeth, don’t be.
Tooth implants are placed in the mouth with the help of a mould and 3D imagery. By constructing an image of the entire mouth, the dentist can create an implant that fits comfortably in the required space. The time it takes for the tooth implant to fuse with the jawbone and the overall process can last anywhere from three to nine months.
With improvements in technology, dental implants have become more affordable. Check with your dentist to see if the cost of dental implants is covered by your insurance policy.
Bone grafting to repair bone density
Contrary to popular belief, dental implants can still be performed even when patients have lost a lot of bone density in their jaws and teeth. Bone grafting is a way to add bone to areas where there is insufficient bone to make it possible for dentists to put dental implants in those locations.
Dentists will first take X-rays to see how much decay and bone there is. These images will show the amount of minerals in the bones to check their density. In the event that you don’t have enough bone for implants, bone grafts are always an option.
The bone grafting procedure is a process where bone from another location is transferred and secured to the desired area. The bone can be taken from the hip, chin, or jaw. After the bone is inserted where it needs to be, the implant can be placed, saving your oral health. This procedure has allowed many people to get implants in an area that otherwise would have decayed rapidly, causing dental problems.
Similar to a bone graft, you may need a sinus lift if your upper jawbone is not strong enough to support dental implants. A sinus lift is a procedure that dentists use to increase bone density and volume near the sinuses in your upper jaw, making it possible to place tooth implants in that area.
The dangers of bone loss
A missing tooth is sometimes an early sign of bone density loss. The strength of your bones largely determines how fragile or brittle your teeth may become over time. This loss of density, as mentioned previously, can occur for several reasons; however, if a tooth isn’t replaced, the problem will only become worse. The bone in the area without a tooth begins to shrink.
A toothless smile not only doesn’t look good but also causes the strength of the remaining teeth to decrease. Over time, these teeth will become brittle as well. This eventually creates a destructive cycle in which teeth continue to deteriorate and fall out, further decreasing bone density. This process repeats itself until you have lost all your teeth and your jaw has eroded away, making it difficult to talk or chew.
It is essential that you fill the gaps left by a missing tooth as quickly as possible to avoid this dangerous cycle. The more time that passes, the more bone density is lost. Consequently, it becomes difficult to reinforce your jawbone with a tooth implant.
Other benefits of dental implants
Dental implants offer various benefits, such as:
They can help prevent premature ageing and facial sagging
If you have missing teeth, the bone loss that follows could cause your facial features to sag. The lower part of the face gradually begins to collapse at this point, slowly causing the distance between the nose and chin to lessen. Fine lines around the mouth, thinner lips, and a more prominent chin can make a person look much older than they are. Implants can improve or maintain your facial structure by filling in the gaps left behind by missing teeth and keeping your remaining teeth and jaw aligned.
They help prevent gum disease
When there are spaces in your gum line or holes where teeth used to be, you’re at a higher risk for developing cavities and other diseases. Bacteria from food easily gets stuck in the cracks of your teeth. When this happens, and the bacteria isn’t cleaned, it rots and creates plaque which causes tooth decay. If you have a space in your teeth, the other teeth around it might start decaying. Tooth decay increases the likelihood of developing gum disease. This disease can cause a lot of pain and irritation, and it may result in more teeth falling out. It can also lead to loss of soft tissue and jaw bone density.
Dental implants are beneficial because they reduce the spaces in which bacteria can hide. If an implant fits snugly against the other teeth, it can prevent tooth decay.
They are designed to last forever
Dental bridges have an average lifespan of ten years, whereas dental implants can last a lifetime. Titanium implants are not only biocompatible but also merge with the jawbone for a natural look. Their biocompatibility means that they are non-toxic and will not cause rejection from the body. In other words, dental implants are a successful way to replace missing teeth.
Preserve your bone health with dental implants
Time plays a crucial role in decaying jaw bone density, so it is essential to visit our dentist as soon as possible. If you don’t seek professional help soon, you could lose the ability to chew or speak properly for the rest of your life. Dental implants are a straightforward, easy method of securing your facial structure and preserving your natural oral habits. Not to mention, they have the added benefit of giving you stronger bones!
At No Gaps Dental, you will receive top-notch care from a team of seasoned dental professionals when it comes to anything from teeth implants to other restoration procedures.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
What is a Dental Implant?