Dental implants are small, titanium posts surgically placed into the jaw bone beneath the gums. Once in place, they allow your oral surgeon to securely attach artificial replacement teeth. They are an option for people who have lost or are missing one or more teeth due to periodontal disease, bone loss, or injury.
Dental implants are commonly used to support crowns, dental bridges, and dentures. Unlike other options, dental implants are designed to fuse with your bone, providing a strong and secure foundation for your artificial teeth.This also contributes to the preservation of facial appearance.
While dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth, most people wonder if they help with bone loss. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what causes bone loss and how dental implants can help prevent it. We’ll also talk about some limitations of dental implants.
We hope this information will help you make an informed decision about your oral health.
Why Does Bone Loss Occur in the Jaw?
When a natural tooth is lost or removed, the bone that supports it loses stimulation and begins to shrink. This mechanism of bone loss is called remodelling and is a natural process that occurs throughout our lives. It allows us to heal from fractures and maintain healthy bones as we age.
However, this process can result in significant bone loss in the jaw following tooth loss. Over time, this can change the shape of the jaw and facial structure and affect the way the teeth bite together. In addition, it can make dental implants difficult to place.
There are several reasons why bone loss occurs more rapidly following tooth loss. These include the following:
- The removal of a tooth causes immediate trauma to the jawbone.
- No tooth roots or chewing force stimulate the jawbone.
- Periodontal disease can cause bone loss by destroying the bone around the teeth.
Regardless of the cause, once bone loss starts, it tends to progress quickly unless action is taken to stop it.
Oral surgeons can use various techniques to prevent or address jawbone loss following tooth extraction. These include grafting bone from another area of the body or using artificial materials to replace lost bone.
In addition, medications may be used to improve bone density or slow down the remodelling process. Dental implants may be the ideal option for restoring function and preventing further jawbone loss for patients who have already lost significant amounts of bone.
Understanding the mechanism of bone loss and seeking implant treatment early makes it possible to maintain a healthy jawbone even after losing teeth.
How Does a Dental Implant Help With Bone Loss?
Dental implants are one way to help prevent the decrease in bone density that comes with tooth loss. By surgically placing a titanium screw into the jawbone, an oral surgeon can effectively replace the root of a tooth. This acts as a sturdy foundation for a new tooth while providing stimulation to the jawbone, preventing further deterioration and preventing the sunken appearance of the face. As a result, dental implants offer an effective solution for patients struggling with bone loss.
Can a Patient With Bone Loss Still Get Dental Implants?
While it may seem like dental implants are out of the question for someone with bone loss, that’s not necessarily the case. Bone loss does not automatically mean you can’t have dental implants.
With today’s advanced techniques and experienced surgeons, it is possible to get dental implants, even if you have bone loss. The key is to address the underlying cause of the bone loss and provide enough bone to support the implant. This may require bone grafting or other surgical procedures before placing the implant to provide a solid foundation.
It is important to consult with an oral surgeon to assess your case and discuss whether or not implants are right for you.
Dental implants prevent bone loss, preserve oral health, and promote bone growth.
Because they are surgically embedded into the jawbone, dental implants provide a root-like structure that helps preserve bone mass. In addition, implants provide support for artificial teeth, which can help prevent further bone loss.
If you consider dental implants an option for restoring your smile, book an appointment through our website or call us today to schedule your consultation. Our team of dentists have years of experience providing quality dental care, and we would be honoured to help you achieve your smile goals.
Frequently Asked questions
Most patients report mild discomfort during the dental implant procedure. The dentist numbs the treatment area before beginning, so you should only feel pressure during the surgery.
You may experience some soreness, minor bleeding, and tenderness afterwards. These can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. They should go away in a few days. If you’re experiencing severe pain, see your dentist immediately.
Dental implants are an increasingly popular option for replacing missing teeth, and with good reason – they boast a success rate of 90%-95%.
There are a few factors that can negatively affect the success of dental implants, such as:
- Bone loss: Adequate bone is needed for dental implants to succeed. A bone graft may be necessary if there is not enough bone in the jaw to support the implant.
- Smoking: Smokers are at a greater risk for complications and implant failure. This is because smoking can impede the healing process and delay recovery.
- Poor oral hygiene: If you do not take care of your remaining teeth and gums, this can lead to gum disease or infection, increasing the risk of implant failure. Not brushing can cause plaque buildup, which leads to decay of remaining teeth and gum disease.
- Systemic conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases, can increase the risk of implant failure.
- Experience of the oral surgeon: Choose a surgeon with vast experience in placing implants and a good success rate.
- Periodontal disease: Having active gum or periodontal disease can affect the success of dental implants. Periodontal disease is a serious gum infection that can damage the bones supporting your teeth and lead to implant failure.
- Implant size and type: Larger implants have a higher success rate than smaller implants, and certain types of implants are more likely to fail than others.
- Bone density: If the bone is too soft, it may not be able to support the implant. In general, however, dental implants are a safe and effective way to restore your smile.
While dental implants are the most favoured tooth replacement option, there are some limitations to consider before having the procedure. These include:
- Bone loss: After dental implant placement, minimal bone loss is expected as the bone remodels around the implant. During the first year, 1-1.5mm bone loss is acceptable, and 0.2mm thereafter.
- Surgery: Another thing to consider is that dental implants require surgery. Because it’s an invasive procedure, you’ll be exposed to risks and potential complications. Examples are nerve damage, infection, and damage to adjacent teeth and surrounding tissues, among many others.
- Prohibitive cost: Dental implant surgery isn’t cheap. A single dental implant will set you back \$5,000-\$7,000. If you need additional procedures such as a bone graft, sinus lift, gum graft, or tooth removal, you’ll pay more on top of the dental implant cost.
If you are considering dental implants, talk to your dentist about the potential limitations before making a decision.