The reason dental implants feel so natural is because, much like your natural teeth, they are directly fused to your jawbone. Through a process called osseointegration, your dental implant is accepted by your body as a natural piece of your jaw structure. Of course, to achieve results that are this good, it is important that your jawbone is healthy enough to support dental implants. This standard can be hard to meet as the jawbone begins deteriorating when you lose a tooth. Today, Dr. Steven Hatcher is blogging from his Greensboro, NC office to talk about jawbone deterioration, its effects, and what can be done to reverse the damage done by it.
Defend Your Jawbone with Dental Implants
What many people don’t realize about the jawbone is that it is much like a muscle in the way that it requires constant exercise to stay healthy and strong. The most common source of this exercise comes from the impact of food on your teeth. This impact causes vibrations that travel down your tooth roots and into your jawbone. Your jaw also produces these vibrations when you talk to others. When you lose a tooth, you are also losing a vital source of this exercise. As a result, the part of the jawbone the missing tooth was connected to will begin to deteriorate.
There are many cosmetic problems that can arise due to jawbone deterioration. This is because our teeth and jawbone are largely responsible for much of our facial structure. When you lose a tooth and your jawbone deteriorates, you are losing vital support that your face needs to retain its shape. As a result, your cheeks may begin to appear hollow, taking on a “sunken appearance”. It is also common for the skin around your jawline to begin to wrinkle. People suffering from jawbone deterioration tend to be described as having an aged or unhealthy appearance.
If you are suffering from jawbone deterioration and still wish to pursue treatment with dental implants, there is a way to restore your jawbone back to a point where it can provide the foundation needed to support dental implants. This is possible because of a procedure called bone grafting. Bone grafting uses samples taken from your own bone, usually your hipbone, and grafts them to the deficient areas of your jawbone. If you are uncomfortable at the idea of using your own bone, it is possible to use synthetic or heavily sterilized animal bone instead. While it may be possible to have bone grafting done in the same visit as your implant procedure, it is more likely that you will need to have your bone grafting done beforehand, as your jawbone may need time to heal before it is ready for implants.
Call and Schedule a Consultation in Greensboro, NC
Because of jawbone deterioration, we highly recommend that any patients suffering from missing teeth pursue treatment with dental implants as soon as possible. By doing so, you can begin the process toward a complete, restored smile without requiring any bone grafting. If you would like to learn more about the bone grafting procedure or about the benefits of dental implants, we encourage you to contact us and schedule a no-obligation consultation with dental implant provider Dr. Steven Hatcher today.