Losing a tooth as an adult can be stressful. It usually comes with from some sort of pain instead of a visit from the tooth fairy. Replacing a tooth that has been lost is important to restore function in appearance, chewing, and speaking. But replacing a tooth is also important for the health of your mouth and the health of your remaining teeth. Your tooth and its roots play a vital role for the underlying jawbone and surrounding teeth. A dental implant can prevent bone loss in the jaw.
What causes bone loss?
Your tooth and its roots stimulate the bone. When the tooth is missing, so goes the stimulation. Without that stimulation, the body stops sending the bone nutrients. The body can even begin to take nutrients away from the bone in a process called resorption. Over time, the bone can begin to soften and change shape. Your face can even look different in appearance due to the jaw’s change in shape. The softening of the bone can cause a realignment of the teeth, which can be problematic for natural teeth and any existing restorations or implants. The jaw can become too weak to support remaining teeth leaving them of danger of falling out.
How can an implant help?
A dental implant is a prosthetic that replaces the roots of a tooth. Not only does this provide a stable foundation for the replacement tooth, but it also stimulates the jawbone. With stimulation from the artificial root, the body will continue to keep blood flowing with nutrients to the area. Bone resorption is less likely to happen when a dental implant takes the place of the missing roots. The implant can also prevent the teeth surrounding the missing tooth from moving into the missing space.
What if bone loss has already occurred?
If you have already begun to experience bone resorption, it can lead to continuing bone loss. Bone grafting can be done to stabilize the area for an implant.
If you have a missing tooth, it is time to consider an implant
Dr. Everett of High Plains Periodontics and Implant Dentistry can help you decide if a dental implant is right for you. To schedule a consultation email DrEverett@highplainsperio.com or call 806-686-1262. His office serves the residents of Lubbock and surrounding West Texas communities.