Whether you lose one of your ‘social six’ – the teeth most visible when you smile – or a back molar, a missing tooth can cause a huge dip in self-confidence. Although changes in your facial aesthetic are a prevalent complication of tooth loss, jawbone loss as a result of missing teeth is also a serious issue and one that can often be overlooked by patients.
Jawbone loss or ‘resorption’
Your jawbone is maintained through the stimulation it receives when you eat. Chewing and biting helps to retain the bone mass that supports your teeth and maintains the shape of your face. When you lose a tooth, the jawbone at the location of the missing tooth no longer receives this stimulation and begins to resorb, or shrink. Losing the molars in the upper jaw can cause particularly severe resorption because of the expansion of the sinus cavity; with no teeth in place, the air pressure within the sinus cavity can cause resorption of the bone lining the sinuses.
Missing teeth can be replaced with dentures, but unfortunately this does not solve the issue of resorption over time. This is because dentures are a removable solution that exert a very minimal amount of chewing pressure on the bone (10% or less) compared to natural teeth or indeed, a dental implant.
Dental implants – a permanent solution to jawbone loss
Dental implants, unlike dentures, are surgically inserted directly into the jawbone and left to merge with the tissue in the jaw, becoming a permanent part of your body. The ‘implant’ actually replaces the tooth’s root and the restoration part of the implant process (the aesthetic tooth-like part such as a CEREC crown) is placed over the top. Dental implants restore functionality and aesthetic to 100% and are the next best option to a real tooth.
Research carried out by US National Library of Medicine concluded that dental implants have a survival rate of 82.94% after 16 years and if properly cared for, they can last beyond 20 years though lifestyle factors such as smoking can affect their longevity.
Here at Lander, our team is made up of implantologists with specialist training and expertise. Contact our friendly reception team to book your dental implants consultation.