What Is Bone Loss & What Are Its Effects?
Bone loss is a major problem for dental patients who have had teeth extracted. When teeth are extracted, the jaw bone will continuously wear away, gradually causing the skeletal structure of the face to look older.
The area between the nose and lips becomes shorter while the chin appears closer to the top of the nose giving the face a collapsed appearance.
Aside from the obvious effects that missing teeth can have on personal appearance, there are other more serious consequences. When a tooth is lost, a space is created.
Normal oral pressures and stress can cause the remaining teeth to shift. This shift can cause healthy, straight teeth to tilt and become unstable, leading to even more tooth loss.
Who Experiences Bone Loss?
Patients who wear full upper or lower dentures will definitely experience bone loss over the years.
When a patient wears dentures, the forces and movement made by the denture can increase bone loss over time.
After the dental implants are placed, your general dentist will create a snap-in denture that will look and feel similar to your own natural teeth.
How Bone Loss Can Be Prevented:
It is important to place implants as soon as possible after the loss of teeth.
Reports show that there is a 25% decrease in bone width in the first year after an extraction and a 30-40% loss within three years. This trend will continue throughout the life of a patient.
Early placement of implants following extractions can help preserve healthy bone. In fact, when implants are place in the patient who has been wearing dentures for many years, bone loss can be controlled.
There are some studies now showing that bone volume may actually increase following the placement of an implant retained denture or snap-in partial for individuals who have lost many or all their teeth.