When people think about a lost tooth, they tend to focus on how the loss affects day-to-day function and cosmetic appeal. However, few people realize that a lost tooth can result in bone density loss in the jawbone. Your Brighton dentist, Dr. Thomas Villani, explains how a lost tooth contributes to jawbone density loss and how dental implants can restore proper bone density.
Lost Teeth and Jawbone Density
When a tooth falls out, its root leaves the jawbone. With no root in the jawbone, the body registers that the tooth has fallen out and that the area it previously occupied is barren. Accordingly, the body stops sending nutrients to the area so as not to waste them. Unfortunately, by stopping nutrient flow, the jawbone in the area may begin to suffer from malnutrition, resulting in a decrease in density.
Another contributing factor to density loss is the lack of stimulation that bone cells receive once a tooth has fallen out. Bone cells thrive on the pressures of chewing and biting which are transmitted to the jawbone by teeth. However, when tooth falls out, those forces are no longer transferred, meaning that bone cells in the area of the lost tooth no longer receive stimulation. Bone density suffers accordingly.
Dental Implants and the Jawbone
What sets dental implants apart from other restorative dentistry treatments is the titanium post that is inserted into the jawbone. This post fuses with the bone and provides a solid foundation for the prosthetic tooth. Yet it does significantly more than that. The presence of the post in the jawbone, tells the body that a tooth once again resides in the previously vacated area, prompting the restoration of nutrition. The implant is also able to transmit the forces of biting and chewing to bone cells because of the post’s presence in the jawbone. With nutrition restored and the bone cells receiving stimulating forces, bone density begins to increase.
Dental Implants from Your Brighton Dentist
Are you missing a tooth or teeth? Do you want a restoration that looks and feels natural? Contact your Brighton implant dentist, Dr. Villani, to discuss how dental implants can restore your smile by calling Brighton Family Dental Group at (617) 562-5210. We proudly serve patients from Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Brighton, and the 02135 area.