Bone resorption occurs when the bone in the jaw is not stimulated properly. If the bone is not stimulated, new tissue does not develop, and wear and tear leads to the bone becoming atrophied, or resorbed. The long-term result is a change in the shape of the jaw and, eventually, change in the facial shape, usually with the lower jaw moving closer to the upper jaw to create a collapsed look. One way to prevent this is to replace missing teeth with a tooth implant.
Dental Implants and Your Jawbone
A tooth implant is an excellent way to replace a missing tooth because it helps stimulate the bone tissue so it continues to grow. This is because the implant consists of both a prosthetic tooth and a root portion that is placed directly in the jawbone. The root portion is made of titanium, which bonds to the bone and stimulates it to grow as you chew. Your jawbone will remain strong and healthy, and your face will maintain its normal proportions.
By contrast, denture wearers often see extensive signs of bone resorption over time. This requires them to have their dentures retooled from time to time to compensate for the change in the shape of the jawbone. With implants, your teeth are natural looking, remain stationary, and last for many years.
Deciding on Implants
If you have missing teeth, you might be considering dental implants. A discussion with your periodontist can help you determine if implants are a good choice. If you are in generally good health, a non-smoker, and are not suffering from gum disease, implants might work well for you.
Bone resorption also plays a part in your candidacy for implants. If your teeth have been missing for a time, you might have already experienced bone loss that can make it difficult for an implant to bond with your bone. Bone grafts can help shore up the jaw to the implants are more likely to be successful. A consultation with Dr. Brad Crump will give you an idea of what might be necessary for you to have implants placed successfully.