When teeth are lost due to injury, decay, or other issues, one of the common side effects is bone resorption. This leads to significant decrease in the strength and thickness of the jawbone. A tooth implant can help prevent resorption and keep your jawbone healthy.
When your tooth is intact, it helps stimulate the bone to regenerate, maintaining the bone mass that helps support your teeth and maintain the shape of your face. When the tooth is gone, however, there is no longer a root set in the socket, and the socket itself as well as the surrounding support tissue, including bone, begin resorption.
Resorption means the body begins to reabsorb the minerals that make up the bone. These minerals, including calcium, pass into the bloodstream and are used elsewhere in the body. The resorption process begins when the body realizes the tooth or teeth are gone and the supporting structures, such as the bone that makes up the tooth’s socket, are no longer being used. This phenomenon is sometimes also called jawbone atrophy.
Implant dentistry is the only form of tooth replacement that prevents bone resorption. Options like dentures and bridges sit on the surface of the gums, and so do not provide any stimulation to the tooth sockets. The bone is not stimulated, and the body gradually reclaims the minerals. Implants, however, are anchored with an artificial root that helps stimulate ongoing bone regeneration.
The first step of implant dentistry is to place the artificial root, which is shaped much like a screw, directly into the empty socket. The bone then bonds with the implant—the vital step which makes bone regeneration possible. Without this bonding, the implant will not remain stationary, and your new teeth will be lost. With the bonding, the implant holds your new tooth firmly in place and, at the same time, helps prevent bone resorption by stimulating bone growth as you eat, bite, and chew.
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