Missing teeth can leave you at risk of developing secondary dental complications, even if the root cause of tooth loss has been treated. Patients can find a permanent tooth replacement solution with dental implants.
These patients will notice restored oral function and appearance in their smile, but they can also experience improved jawbone health. Dr. Erika Graham, a dentist in Durham, NC, describes how dental implants can protect the structure of your jaw after tooth loss.
What Happens to Jawbone After Tooth Loss?
In healthy individuals, teeth extend below the gumline down to the jaw. This tooth root’s presence stimulates the bone there to keep it strong and maintain its structure.
When a patient suffers tooth loss, the tooth root is missing too. Without this stimulation, the jawbone begins to deteriorate and loses density. This can lead to the appearance of facial sagging and the risk of displacement of remaining teeth.
How Do Dental Implants Help Jawbone Health?
Dental implants consist of a titanium post that a dentist surgically inserts into the jaw. This supports a prosthetic tooth or crown that a dentist secures to this post above the gumline.
The post replaces the missing tooth root to stimulate the jawbone once again. This stops bone from degrading and encourages the regrowth of any jawbone that may have been lost while the tooth was absent. The treatment preserves the structure of the jaw and inherently your teeth and face.
Can My Jaw Support Dental Implants?
The titanium post of a dental implant is placed into the jawbone, so the jaw must be stable enough to support this device. If too much bone in the jaw has deteriorated, you may 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 may support a dental implant once healed. Your dentist can determine the stability and density of your jawbone during an oral exam with the help of x-ray imaging.
Dental Implants and Other Tooth Replacements in Durham, NC
Oak Grove Family and Cosmetic Dentistry provides dental implants and other tooth replacement treatments for patients in Durham, NC. Dr. Graham specializes in cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 919.873.4312.