This message from Steven T. Cutbirth DDS in Waco focuses on missing teeth and bone health, and how dental implants can make a difference.
Our teeth have many important functions. We need them to chew our food, talk, and smile. But have you ever considered their role in holding up your face? When we lose teeth, the bone around the site of the extraction begins to shrink. This, in turn, causes our facial muscles to sink in and collapse.
We sometimes think of bone as a solid mass, unlike the softer tissues in our body. In reality, below the seemingly rock-hard surface, bone tissue is full of small holes – kind of like a sponge.
In the interior bone tissue, the bone is constantly regenerating itself. This process is called “bone metabolism.” The movement of the teeth stimulate this process of rebuilding. When the tooth is gone, the bone starts to shrink as blood flow is reduced.
People with missing teeth not only have an unattractive gap in their smile, they begin to look older because of the bone recession and eventual facial sagging. It can become difficult to chew food, too, making it harder to get adequate nutrition.
Dental Implants Can Prevent Bone Recession
Modern dentistry to the rescue! Dental implant technology provides a tooth restoration solution that maintains healthy bone metabolism while providing near-normal tooth function.
One dental implant can support an artificial tooth. Several, usually four, can support a full dental arch.
Even if you have lost jaw bone mass, bone grafting can promote new bone growth, enough for an implant.