The reason why dental implants are capable of providing such a comfortable and natural feeling solution to missing teeth is because, much like your natural teeth, implants are fused to your jawbone. Through a process called osseointegration, your dental implants are accepted by your body as a natural piece of your jaw structure. Naturally, to get results this good it is important that your jawbone is strong enough to support your implants. This standard can be hard to meet because your jawbone actually begins to deteriorate after you lose a tooth. Today, Dr. Maggie Chao is blogging from Pleasanton, CA to talk about jawbone deterioration, its effects, and what can be done about it.
The thing that many people don’t seem to realize about the jawbone is that it is much like a muscle in the way that it requires constant exercise to stay healthy and strong. This exercise typically comes from the vibrations caused by the food we eat impacting with our teeth. These vibrations travel down our tooth roots and into the jawbone. When you lose a tooth, the area of the jawbone that tooth was connected to will no longer be getting the exercise it needs and will begin to deteriorate as a result. If you wait too long before restoring your missing tooth, the affected area of your jawbone may be too deteriorated to support an implant.
Jawbone deterioration can actually have many effects on your facial appearance. This is because it is our teeth and jawbone that structure much of our faces. When your jawbone begins to deteriorate, your face loses much of the support that allows it to maintain its shape. As a result, you may end up with hollow cheeks, resulting in a “sunken appearance”. It is also common for the skin around your jawline to prematurely wrinkle. People suffering from jawbone deterioration tend to be described as appearing aged or unhealthy.
If you are suffering from jawbone deterioration, it may still be possible for you to pursue treatment with dental implants. Using bone grafting, it is possible for us to restore your jawbone back to a point where it can provide the foundation needed to support dental implants. Bone grafting is a procedure that takes bone samples taken from another part of your body, usually your hipbone, and grafts them to the deficient areas of your jawbone. If you are uncomfortable using samples taken from your own body, it is also possible for us to use synthetic or heavily sterilized animal bone instead.
It is for the reasons above that we recommend our patients suffering from missing teeth pursue treatment with dental implants as soon as possible. By doing so, they can move forward with the implant procedure without having to have bone grafting done beforehand. If you would like to learn more about bone grafting or the dental implant process, we encourage you to contact us and schedule a no-obligation consultation with dental implant provider, Dr. Maggie Chao.
Dr. Maggie Chao
1475 Cedarwood Lane Suite C
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Monday: 9AM – 4:30PM
Wednesday: 9AM – 4:30PM
Friday: 9AM – 4:30PM