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 begins to shrink. This, in turn, causes our facial muscles to sink in and collapse.
We sometimes think of bone as a solid mass, but its really full of small holes, kind of like a sponge.
In the inner bone tissue, the bone is constantly regenerating itself. This important process is sometimes called “bone metabolism.” In the jaw bone, the movement of the teeth stimulates this process. When the tooth is gone, the bone starts to shrink.
People with missing teeth not only have an unsightly gap in their smile. They begin to look older because of the bone recession and eventual facial sagging. It is not simply an issue of attractiveness; it poses serious health dangers. It may become difficult to chew food, making it harder to get adequate nutrition. Mental health can also be affected when a patient with missing teeth loses confidence or withdraws from social situations because they are self-conscious about their smile.
Dental Implants Can Prevent Bone Recession
Modern dentistry to the rescue! Dental implants provide a solution that maintains healthy bone metabolism while providing near-normal tooth function. For patients missing many (or all) of their teeth, it may not be possible to replace every single tooth with an implant. In many of these cases, dental implants can be used to provide an anchor for a partial denture.
What if your bone has shrunk so much there is not enough to support an implant? You may be a candidate for bone augmentation or bone grafting. This procedure has a high success rate.
If you are missing teeth, don’t resign yourself to dentures. Dental implants can provide a remarkable smile!
Dr. Wesley Yemoto DOS Esthetic and Holistic Dentistry also does general dentistry.
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