Updated: Sep 26, 2018
In dealing with dental problems, dentists exhaust all restorative options before resorting to extraction. This is because loss of natural tooth is the start of many problems, such as impairment of dental function and bone resorption. In essence, bone resorption or bone loss is a natural process that occurs after a tooth has been lost or extracted.
How does tooth loss contribute to bone loss?
The bone needs stimulation and activity to maintain its density and volume. In the case of the alveolar bone, the necessary stimulation comes from the teeth.
Our teeth make multiple contacts with each other every day, causing small tensions that prompt the bone to rebuild continually. This transmission occurs through the periodontal ligament, which holds the tooth in its socket.
When a tooth is lost, it also means a loss of stimulation. This causes the alveolar bone to lose height, width and volume. After the first year, around 25% of bone width is lost. Over the next few years, the bone height shrinks by about 4 millimetres.
If not addressed on time, bone volume continues to decrease. Eventually, gum tissue also gradually decreases.
What are the consequences of bone loss?
The most apparent effect lies on the functionality of the tooth or teeth. It impairs the person’s ability to chew and speak. As it continues to deteriorate, more function is lost. In addition to functional problems, it results in life-changing aesthetic issues, especially in edentulous or toothless patients.
What is the solution?
To prevent bone loss, patients need to revive the stimulation of the remaining bone tissue. This is possible through dental implants, or titanium roots that merge and fuse with the tissues and re-stimulate them. These titanium screws serve as a strong and stable foundation to support a crown, bridge or overdentures.
They not only look very natural, they also reduce stress on the remaining teeth by enhancing bite support, restoring chewing efficacy, and inhibiting shifting of the vital teeth.
If you are considering dental implants, book a consultation with Dr Jaswinder Gill. He will make a thorough oral assessment and determine the most suitable option for you.