Tooth loss can leave dental patients with many functional and aesthetic concerns with their smiles. Spaces between teeth can disrupt oral functions and alter the appearance of your smile.
Missing teeth may also lead to problems with your jawbone without restorative dental treatment. Your dentist can prevent this issue through tooth replacement with dental implants. Dr. Emily Ann Reece, a dentist located in Cary, NC, describes how missing teeth can negatively affect your jawbone health and how dental implants can treat this concern.
What Happens to Jawbone After Tooth Loss?
In healthy dental patients, a tooth extends to a root below the gumline that reaches the jaw. This tooth root stimulates the bone there, keeping it stable and strong.
If a patient is missing teeth, this tooth root is also absent, and the jaw no longer receives stimulation. The jawbone can then weaken, leading to further dental concerns, including the appearance of facial sagging and the shifting of remaining teeth.
How Do Implants Affect Bone in the Jaw?
A dental implant features a titanium post anchor that a dentist surgically places into the jawbone. When this heals, the anchor supports the permanent tooth, offering a lifetime of restorative benefits.
This post also replaces the missing tooth root and stimulates the jawbone once again. This stops the deterioration of the bone and even encourages bone that may have already been lost to regenerate. The treatment preserves the structure of the face, jaw, and teeth and prevents secondary dental issues that can stem from tooth loss.
Am I Eligible for Implant Dentistry Solutions?
Because the dental implant utilizes an anchor in the jaw, the patient’s jawbone must be strong enough to support the titanium post. If too much bone has deteriorated due to tooth loss, the patient might not be able to successfully receive an implant.
If this is the case, your dentist may recommend a bone graft to create more structure in the jaw that will ultimately support an implant after the patient’s recovery. This oral surgery transfers bone material to the jaw to add stability. They may also suggest alternative tooth replacement solutions if this procedure is not feasible.
A dentist can evaluate the health of a patient’s jaw through x-ray imaging taken during a consultation appointment. The implant process can be lengthy and expensive, so dental patients should discuss the treatment thoroughly with their dental professional before committing to the procedure.
Dental Implants and More Restorative Dentistry in Cary, NC
Reedy Creek Family and Cosmetic Dentistry provides dental implants and other tooth replacement solutions to eligible patients in Cary, NC. Dr. Reece specializes in restorative, general, and cosmetic dentistry, including teeth whitening, for patients of all ages. We can assist patients with dental emergencies as well as routine exams and cleanings. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact our office by phone at 919.646.6294 or reach a member of our staff online.