When it comes to tooth restoration, there are two popular options that many patients turn towards: dentures and dental implants. Both of these solutions are capable of restoring your lost pearly whites and their functionality—but is either one of them ideal for preventing the jawbone deterioration that accompanies missing teeth? Keep reading to learn more.
How Can Missing Teeth Lead to Bone Loss?
Your natural teeth are pretty important; not only do they assist you with biting and chewing your food, but they also keep your jawbone intact! As you bite and chew, pressure from your teeth is exerted downwards through their roots, where it stimulates your jaws and encourages them to grow and remain healthy.
Without this stimulation, your jaws will weaken and prematurely deteriorate over time, and unfortunately, missing teeth can expedite this process. Insufficient bone density in your jaw can cause all kinds of problems, including a gradual decrease in facial structure. It can also weaken your remaining natural teeth and cause them to fall out!
Can Dentures Prevent Bone Loss?
Dentures are ideal for patients that are missing most or all of their teeth. They’re basically prosthetics that rely on a combination of suction, muscle control, and adhesives to stay in place. But since they aren’t permanently attached to anything inside your mouth, they sometimes have trouble remaining in place, which in turn can negatively affect your chewing power.
Without a proper connection to your jawbone, they can’t offer you anything in terms of preservation, either. In fact, there’s even some research that suggests that wearing dentures can increase bone atrophy, which results in substantial jawbone shrinkage!
Will Dental Implants Assist with Jawbone Preservation?
On the other hand, dental implants can do everything that dentures can do and more, including preventing jawbone deterioration! The implants consist of titanium posts that are surgically embedded into your jawbone, in addition to crowns that resemble and function like your natural teeth.
Once they’ve been implanted, they will naturally fuse with your jaw through a process called osseointegration. Not only does this ensure that the implants provide the same level of stimulation that your teeth would, but it also provides you with a complete smile that’s meant to last a lifetime.
If you have missing teeth that you need replaced, jawbone preservation is one factor that you should take into consideration—and while both dentures and dental implants can restore teeth, it’s the latter that will keep your jawbone nicely intact.
About the Author
Dr. George Hoop received his DDS from the Emory University School of Dentistry and has proudly served patients and families in the Fort Myers area for several years. His practice is thrilled to offer a variety of tooth-restoration options including both dentures and dental implants. If you have any questions about the article or would like to schedule a visit, you can contact the practice online or over the phone for additional assistance: (239) 939-7299.