Losing a tooth brings about a series of complications. One problem that is often not directly associated with tooth loss is jawbone resorption. When you lose a tooth, 25% of bone is lost during the following year and this carries on at a rate of 4mm per year thereafter. But there is a way to curb this – dental implants – the solution considered to be the next best thing to a real tooth.
How dental implants protect your jawbone
Natural teeth have roots that are responsible for stimulating your jawbone, ensuring it stays strong and keeps growing and repairing itself. When you lose a tooth, the jawbone ceases to receive such attention and starts to shrink, a process known as resorption.
Dental implants are a pretty amazing treatment. Each implant is a tiny titanium post that tricks your body into thinking it has a new tooth and as a result, the surrounding tissues start to grow around the implant. In turn, your jaw experiences the stimulation it needs – as you’re able to chew and talk again with your mouth back at 100% health, you won’t suffer aesthetic changes to your jawbone. Implants are surgically inserted into your jawbone and left to settle over a period of months. It’s during those months that the body starts to believe that there’s a new working element. But you can’t achieve this effect with just any material. Implants are made from titanium for a reason; it’s the most biocompatible material in existence and it’s rare for the body to reject it.
The advantages of implants over dentures
As dentures are not a permanent solution to tooth loss, they can’t protect your jawbone in the same way as dental implants. Dentures don’t stimulate the jawbone like dental implants do. They’re a set of false teeth that restore aesthetic and function, but only to a certain point. Many patients who have had dentures for a number of years choose to have dental implants later on down the line, in order to tackle the issue of jawbone loss. Dentures usually need replacing every five to eight years, but when maintained properly, dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime. This makes them the best long-term solution for one or more missing teeth.
If you would like to book a consultation appointment for dental implants here at our Truro practice, please contact us today and we can arrange this for you.