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How Implants Prevent Bone Loss
Dentist Newport Beach, CA

Rendering of jaw with dental implant.Dental implants have revolutionized the approach to tooth replacement, providing solutions that not only restore functionality and aesthetics but also play a critical role in preserving jawbone health.

Understanding Bone Loss in the Jaw

Bone loss in the jaw, or alveolar bone resorption, occurs primarily due to the absence of natural teeth. The roots of natural teeth provide necessary stimulation to the jawbone through activities such as chewing and biting.

When a tooth is lost, this stimulation ceases, leading to gradual bone deterioration. Other factors contributing to bone loss include periodontal disease, which can destroy the bone supporting the teeth, and certain systemic conditions that affect bone health.

The Role of Dental Implants in Bone Preservation

Dental implants play a pivotal role in bone preservation by acting as artificial tooth roots. These implants are typically made of biocompatible materials like titanium, which fuse with the jawbone through a process known as osseointegration. By replicating the function of natural tooth roots, dental implants provide the necessary stimulation to the jawbone, helping to maintain its density and prevent resorption.

Dental Implants vs. Dentures

When comparing dental implants and dentures, it becomes clear that implants offer significant advantages in terms of bone preservation.

Dental Implants integrate with the jawbone and provide continuous stimulation, maintaining bone density. Implants are anchored firmly in the jaw, offering a stable and durable base for prosthetic teeth. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime, making them a cost-effective solution over time.

Dentures rest on the gums and do not provide the same level of bone stimulation, leading to continued bone resorption. As the jawbone deteriorates, dentures may require frequent adjustments to fit properly. Dentures can shift and move, causing discomfort and affecting the ability to chew and speak effectively.

How Implants Stimulate Bone Growth

The process of osseointegration is crucial to how implants stimulate bone growth. When a dental implant is placed in the jawbone, the bone cells begin to attach to the surface of the implant. This integration process strengthens the bond between the bone and the implant, effectively making the implant a part of the jaw structure. The continuous mechanical stimulation from activities like chewing encourages the bone to remain strong and healthy.

Comparing Implants with Other Tooth Replacement Options

Other tooth replacement options include bridges and partial dentures, but they fall short compared to implants in terms of bone preservation.

Bridges rely on adjacent teeth for support, which does not provide stimulation to the underlying bone of the missing tooth. As a result, the area under the missing tooth in a bridge setup continues to experience bone loss.

Partial dentures, like full dentures, are removable and do not integrate with the bone and therefore do not prevent bone loss. Over time, bone resorption can affect the fit of partial dentures, necessitating adjustments or replacements.

The Science Behind Osseointegration

For several months after dental implant placement, the bone heals around the implant, gradually integrating it into the jaw structure. Titanium's biocompatibility plays a crucial role, as it encourages bone growth without rejection. Successful osseointegration ensures the implant functions like a natural tooth root, providing necessary stimulation to maintain bone density and supporting the prosthetic tooth securely.

Long-Term Benefits of Dental Implants for Jaw Health

The long-term benefits of dental implants for jaw health are substantial. By providing continuous stimulation, implants help maintain bone density and volume. Implants support the overall structure of the jaw, preventing the sunken facial appearance associated with bone loss.

Implants restore the ability to chew and speak effectively, contributing to overall well-being. They also provide a natural-looking solution that enhances facial aesthetics and confidence.

Dental Implant FAQ

Who can get dental implants?

Most healthy adults who have lost teeth are candidates for dental implants. However, adequate jawbone density and healthy gums are necessary. Patients with certain medical conditions or habits (such as smoking) often need individual evaluations.

Are there any age restrictions for dental implants?

There is no upper age limit for dental implants. As long as the patient is in good health and has sufficient bone density, they are a potential candidate. However, implants are generally not recommended for children or adolescents whose jawbones are still growing.

Is the procedure painful?

The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia, so patients typically experience minimal discomfort during surgery. Post-operative pain and swelling are manageable with prescribed medications.

Are there any risks associated with dental implants?

Like any surgical procedure, dental implants carry some risks, including infection, implant failure, nerve damage, and sinus problems (for upper jaw implants). However, these complications are rare and even if they occur we can manage them effectively.

How should I care for my dental implants?

Dental implants require regular oral hygiene practices, including daily brushing and flossing around the implant, regular check-ups and professional cleanings, and refraining from smoking and avoiding hard foods that could damage the implant.

Can dental implants get cavities?

No, dental implants themselves cannot get cavities. However, the surrounding gum tissue is still subject to gum disease, so maintaining good oral hygiene is essential.

How much do dental implants cost?

The cost of dental implants can vary widely based on location, the complexity of the case, and the specific dental professional.

Are dental implants covered by insurance?

Coverage for dental implants varies by insurance plan. Some dental insurance policies cover a portion of the cost, while others may not. It's best to check with your insurance provider for specific coverage details.

How long do dental implants last?

With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. The crown attached to the implant may need replacement after 10-15 years due to normal wear and tear.

What if my dental implant fails?

Implant failure is rare, but if it occurs, we can remove the implant and replace it after the area has healed. Factors such as insufficient bone integration or infection can lead to failure, but Dr. Kabaklian can address many different issues.

If you have any additional questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office at 949-991-2499.

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Implants Prevent Bone Loss | Dentist Newport Beach, CA
Enamel General and Cosmetic Dentistry, 20162 SW Birch St, Suite 200, Newport Beach, Ca 92660 ~ 949-991-2499 ~ ~ 7/1/2024 ~ Associated Words: dentist ~