What is Bone Resorption?
If you’re been reading up on dental implants then you’ve probably noticed the term “bone resorption” frequently appearing. So we thought we’d take the time to explain just what this term means and what it has to do with dental implants.
If you’re considering a dental implant in Richmond or anywhere in the country for that matter, it’s probably because you’ve lost or damaged a tooth and it needs to be replaced. Bone resorption is a process which takes place when a tooth has been lost and there’s no tooth root left to anchor or stimulate the surrounding bone.
A tooth root is invisible to the eye because it sits below the gum, so we tend to take it for granted. However it plays an important role in the stability of a person’s smile, since without it the jawbone slowly starts to wear away and it’s this resorption which leads to the contour of the jaw changing shape, often causing a pinched appearance to the smile and a reduction in the vertical dimension.
Dentures solve the problem of replacing a person’s missing teeth but because they only sit on the jawline, the bone resorption continues to take effect, and it’s this characteristic that causes a well fitting set of dentures to become loose over time as the jaw changes shape. This is why denture wearers have to pay regular visits to their dentist to get their dentures re-aligned and eventually replaced.
Dental implants actually solve the problem of bone resorption and stabilise the smile. An oral surgeon will place implants made from titanium into the jaw bone where the tooth or teeth are missing. Over time, in a process called osseointegration, the bone fuses with the titanium to create a solid platform on which to attach a prosthetic crown. The implant acts as a replacement tooth root halting the bone resorption process and stopping the jaw from changing shape maintaining its fit over time.
As few as four implants can be used to hold a prosthetic arch of teeth which is of great benefit to long-term denture wearers who want to switch to dental implants but have already lost a lot of bone. The implants can be placed towards the front of the jaw where erosion is slowest. It also provides a more stable solution as it’s far less likely to slip than a conventional denture. Also patients will find that dental implants will improve their biting and chewing functionality.
Bone resorption can certainly be a challenge for denture wearers but dental implants can help lessen or prevent this problem. If you’re considering options for tooth replacement then why not give us a call. We’ve been placing dental implants in Richmond for a great many years and would be happy to add you to our list of happy patients. Alternatively, feel free to visit our website at www.sheendental.co.uk for more information. We look forward to welcoming you to Sheen Dental.