One adverse effect of tooth loss is the bone loss that occurs afterward. When a single tooth is absent, this bone loss can compromise the integrity of the jaw in the area, potentially risking the stability of the other teeth.
In edentulous patients, such jawbone resorption leads to a shrunken, pinched appearance around the mouth, and it causes dentures to lose their fit over time.
Dental implants stabilize the bone, so they can put a halt to jawbone atrophy and help patients avoid such negative outcomes.
The titanium screw-like structures are surgically inserted into the jaw by an oral surgeon, and over the course of several months, they fuse with the bone and become a permanent part of the mouth’s structure.
Dental implants are essentially artificial tooth roots, and like the biological roots, implants act as anchors, holding the jawbone in place.
Only dental implants fully replicate the structure of the missing tooth (or teeth) in this way. Although aesthetic concerns are certainly a key consideration, tooth replacement solutions that focus solely on the visible crown portion are incomplete. That is why patients who choose bridges and dentures find that those appliances don’t fit as well as the shape of the jaw changes.
At the same time, this functionality means that dental implants can remain in the jaw for decades. Tooth replacement methods that do not address jawbone atrophy need to be refitted or replaced as years pass. This can increase a patient’s costs in terms of both dollars and convenience.
Patients gain other advantages from dental implants, as well. The devices are easier to maintain and more convenient. They also tend to withstand chewing forces more effectively, approximating a natural tooth in that important function, too.
Dental implants can benefit patients in a wide variety of scenarios involving tooth loss, from a single tooth to an entire arch – or more. Consult with our team of oral surgeons at Dallas Oral Surgery Associates to learn more about all of the benefits of this treatment option.