There are many things that can cause bone loss in the jaw. Bone health can be affected by problems such as diabetes, cancer, or cancer treatment, osteoporosis, or gum disease. Also, bones are similar to muscles, in that they become weak, and even deteriorate without use. When you have healthy teeth and roots and eat with your teeth, this stimulates the bones surrounding them and maintains good health and mass.
Whenever teeth are pulled, bone resorption can occur. When all teeth are pulled and a denture is placed, or when some teeth are pulled and a partial is placed, the pressure that these prosthetics place on the gum can actually accelerate the rate of bone loss in the jaw. These prosthetics rest on the gum tissue and don’t provide direct stimulation to the bone.
People who have been wearing dentures for a long time will begin to have the appearance that their face is sinking in when they aren’t wearing dentures. The chin will also look more pointed, and deep wrinkles will form around the mouth. Because of the bone loss, food will begin to get trapped under the denture, and will fit unevenly over time. Their dentures will need to be adjusted or relined frequently because of this.
Dental implants can support good bone health. The implant takes the place of the root and stimulates the bone around the area of the implant. With enough implants strategically placed around the mouth you can maintain a full arch of healthy bone. We always recommend that implants be done soon after an extraction. People who have been wearing dentures, or have been without teeth for many years may find that they don’t have enough bone to support a dental implant. The more healthy bone you have increases the likelihood of a successful dental implant.
Single implants are a good one tooth solution, but it can be very expensive to replace a full mouth with implants. We recommend the 3 on 6 procedure as an affordable alternative to a full mouth restoration that provides implant support of the bone.