You have probably seen a picture of someone who doesn’t have any teeth.
Something looks a little off when they smile. You may describe their face as sunken in.
There’s a reason for that.
When someone loses his or her teeth, they also lose an important part of a system. Your teeth relay on your jaw for support, but your jaw relies on your teeth to remain healthy and strong.
This is a big reason why we recommend dental implants when someone needs a tooth replaced at any of our three Lexington dentist offices.
At Beaumont Family Dentistry, we know the consequences that can result from tooth loss, and we would prefer to prevent you from having to experience them.
Your jawbone, like the other bones in your body, goes through a process called bone resorption. This is when old tissue is reabsorbed into the bone.
In a healthy bone, new tissue is created to replace the old tissue. This process is what keeps your bones strong.
In a real sense, your teeth provide the signal to your jaw that it needs to continue making new tissue. With every bite you take and every time you chew on something, your roots will press into your bone.
That pressure is the trigger that prompts your bone to continue making new tissue.
If you remove a single tooth, that part of your bone won’t get the signal to keep making new tissue. In as little as 12 months, that part of your jaw could lose up to 25 percent of its bone density.
If you fail to replace your lost tooth, that can affect other teeth as well. While your teeth are independent, they also provide a mutual support system for one another.
You may not be aware of the tiny movement of your teeth every day, in part because they remain in mostly the same places since they push into one another.
If you remove a tooth, however, the neighboring teeth may drift into the open space.
As you continue losing bone mass, those teeth can become less secure and eventually fall out, too.
From there the cycle of bone loss and tooth loss may continue, and it may even occur more quickly.
Stopping Bone And Tooth Loss
If you are missing a tooth, we would encourage you to replace it as soon as you are able to minimize the bone loss that will occur.
A dental implant can be placed in your jaw to replace the root of your missing tooth. Implants are titanium cylinders that do two things that your roots once did.
First, the implants will press into your jaw. This will produce the stimulation needed to encourage new bone growth to continue.
Second, the implants will support your crown. In this case, it will be a dental crown instead of a natural crown.
When everything is in place, your tooth replacement will look, feel, and function just like your real teeth. You will be able to eat the foods that you love and smile without embarrassment, too.
What If You Are Missing Multiple Teeth Already?
No need to worry. We can help you, too. Whether you need to replace a few teeth or a whole row of teeth, dental implants can help.
For a person who still have some healthy teeth remaining, we could create a dental bridge to fill in the open space in their smile. This bridge is made of multiple dental crowns that have been fused together.
Multiple dental implants can be placed in your jaw to hold the bridge securely in position to provide the strength you need to bite and chew your food.
For someone who needs to replace an entire row of teeth, we can create implant-secured dentures. Instead of resting over your gums, where dentures can and do come loose, we can support them with a series of dental implants.
If you have reached a point where you are missing a whole row of teeth, you may have experienced significant bone loss already. This may affect your ability to receive traditional implants.
It may still be possible for you to get implant-supported dentures, however. Mini implants have a smaller diameter than standard implants, and they can fit where standard implants won’t.
Regain What You Have Lost
While we hope you keep all your teeth, we also want you to know your options if you do need to replace one or more teeth either now or in the future.
At Beaumont Family Dentistry, we know that replacing lost teeth is about more than just restoring your smile. It’s about restoring your healthy mouth, too.
If you would like to make an appointment to discuss tooth replacement options, call any of our dentist offices in Lexington or fill out the online form for the office closest to you.