When you lose a tooth you also lose the solid root structure that would normally be part of your jawbone. This can cause the bone to collapse and shrink away. The bone needs the constant pressure of chewing to stimulate the regeneration of bone cells. Without this stimulation, the bone can deteriorate to the point where bone loss is even noticeable in your facial features. Because it is painless you won’t even feel it happening.
That is why dental implants are the preferred method of replacing missing teeth. The implant acts the same as a tooth root and stimulates the bone to maintain its strength and size.
Made of titanium alloy, both joint replacements and dental implants fuse with your bone to create a strong structure that can be stronger than the bone or tooth it replaces.
The first type is to replace a single missing tooth. The implant itself is a single titanium screw which is inserted into the jawbone. Attached to the top of this screw is an abutment which is then topped with a crown to complete the full tooth.
The second type is used to secure full arch dentures. It is similar single tooth implant in that it uses titanium screws as the anchor to the jawbone. The difference is that multiple implants are inserted into the jawbone instead of just one. These are then fitted with a type of connector that allows you to “snap” a full denture down onto the implants making it feel like part of your jaw.
Implant secured dentures not only hold dentures securely in place, but they also provide the pressure on the jawbone to keep the bone from shrinking. This is a common problem with denture wearers causing them to constantly update their dentures. This happens because bone loss occurs under the denture and causes the denture to become loose.
Bone loss starts almost immediately after losing teeth. If you have been wearing dentures for very long it is likely you have significant bone loss. The sooner you get dental implants the less bone loss your dentist will need to deal with and the simpler the procedure will be.
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