When most people think of the aesthetic consequences of tooth loss in Creve Coeur, they think only of how it creates gaps in a person’s smile. They may not realize that changes also take place below the gumline that can also affect facial aesthetics. In this blog post, we’ll discuss those changes and how you may be able to preserve your face’s natural shape.
Tooth Loss and Facial Collapse
In some respects, bones — including the jawbone — are similar to muscles. If they are not used regularly, they start to break down. Hence, when the jawbone is no longer being used to support a tooth, the body begins to resorb it, causing it to become smaller and weaker. In fact, up to 25 percent of the bone that once supported a tooth may be lost in the first year after an extraction.
Eventually, jawbone resorption can reach the point where it causes the face to have a shrunken, collapsed appearance. The more teeth an individual has lost, the more noticeable the changes to their facial shape will be.
Preventing Facial Collapse
Traditional tooth replacement options, such as dentures and bridges, can restore chewing power and fill in unsightly gaps in a person’s smile. However, they only replace the top portion of a tooth, the part that is visible above the gumline. They do nothing to replace the tooth’s root, which is responsible for keeping the jawbone strong and healthy. Fortunately, there is a way to replace the entire tooth and thereby prevent facial collapse: dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants? What Are Their Benefits?
Dental implants are small posts made out of a titanium alloy. They get surgically placed into the jaw and thereby serve as prosthetic tooth roots. They actually fuse with the bone around them, which means they provide long-lasting support for the jaw and can prevent resorption. Restorations, such as bridges, dentures, or crowns, get placed on top of dental implants to replace the visible portions of the lost teeth.
Dental implants provide a truly comprehensive tooth replacement solution. In addition to stimulating the jaw, they also:
- Have the potential to last a lifetime
- Are easy to care for
- Look completely natural
- Enable you to eat virtually anything
- Boast a success rate of over 95 percent
If you have recently lost a tooth, you should speak to your dentist about dental implants in Creve Coeur as soon as possible. Waiting will only allow your bone resorption to worsen, which increases the chance that you will require a bone graft before you are eligible for dental implants.
Facial collapse is a very real consequence of tooth loss, but fortunately, you may be able to prevent it with dental implants.
About the Dentists
Drs. James and Jenna Feigenbaum are a father-daughter dental team in Creve Coeur. They provide numerous tooth replacement options, and they are experts at designing attractive, functional dental implant restorations. If you would like to learn more about dental implants or schedule a consultation, contact our office today at 314-567-1777.