One of the more troubling aspects of tooth loss, besides embarrassment and difficulty eating, is the resulting loss of bone in the jaw. Unfortunately, with each tooth you lose you also lose the tooth root. This results in the inevitable loss of bone mass in the area of the loss. Replacing that bone can be difficult and expensive yet, if too much mass is lost, the result can be facial collapse, causing you to look older than you really are.
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots inserted into the jaw to replace missing teeth. Today, implants with attached crowns are the preferred method for treating tooth loss because they function the same as natural teeth and help preserve the jaw structure by preventing atrophy from bone loss.
While bridgework and dentures can address the cosmetic problem of missing teeth, these prosthetic devices do not prevent jawbone loss. Permanent implants however, will help you to maintain proper chewing function and exert appropriate, natural forces on the jawbone to keep it functional and healthy, slowing or eliminating bone loss entirely.
How Dental Implants Help with Bone Loss
Dental implants are actually titanium screws that your dentist or prosthodontist inserts into your jawbone, to which they will then affix a prosthetic tooth or crown. Over time, Titanium implants fuse naturally with the supporting jawbone, a process known as osseointegration.
Implant surgery can replace one or more teeth, provided there is sufficient bone to support the implants. Patients who are considering dental implants should have the procedure done as soon as possible after losing a tooth to prevent bone loss at the site.
From beginning to end, the dental implant process could take three-to-nine months, but with digital imaging and improved technology, it’s possible to do single and full-mouth implants in far less time.
Implant dentists are concerned about both oral health and cosmetic outcomes. Replacing missing teeth helps you regain a confident smile, as well stay fit and healthy by maintaining good nutritional habits and eating healthy foods that you were previously unable to chew.
The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implants and Prosthetic Dentistry, are your full-service Littleton dental implants specialist and experts in total tooth replacement. If you would like more information on your family’s dental needs, make an appointment today.