Not only does a missing tooth cause you to feel a bit self-conscious to smile, if left untreated it also can affect the way you eat or speak. But did you know that having a missing tooth for a long period of time can also affect your bone growth?
Bone is, in fact, a living organism. It is a tissue that reabsorbs and regenerates itself throughout its life cycle. When it comes to your mouth, bones that are older dissolve and get absorbed by our bodies in a process called resorption. New bone then replaces the resorbed bone in the jaw when stimulated by chewing. When a tooth is lost, there is no chewing activity going on so there is nothing to let the new bone that it needs to grow to cover for the old ones. No chewing, no new bones, and this eventually leads to overall bone mass shrinkage. An untreated tooth actually loses a quarter of bone foundation after only one year. Gum recession, speech problems and issues eating are just a few of the outcomes leaving a missing tooth untreated. And without bone regeneration, your physical appearance will likely suffer as well. The more teeth lost, the less distance there is to keep your jaw bone structure intact, ultimately shrinking the lower half of your face.
One solution to this is the dental implant. Not only is the dental implant made out of bone-friendly “osseophilic” titanium, but bone has such an affinity to it that it will soon attach itself to the implant post, thereby securing bone stimulation every time you chew. It’s almost like your jaw bones won’t notice that you were ever missing a tooth. No more bone loss!
Dental implants are still a relatively new work in progress, having only been available for about 3 decades, but the results have been outstanding in comparison to their denture predecessors. Not only can they stand the test of time much better than the denture (some lasting the patient’s lifespan), but have been able to improve the patient’s livelihood exponentially. Not only do they not have the stigma of wearing dentures, but they can eat more foods they weren’t able to before and aren’t as self-conscious as they were worrying about what their teeth are going to do. So if you are in need of a tooth replacement, make sure you ask your dental professional about your implant options.
If you are in need of dental implants, contact Creative Dimensions Dentistry in Castro Valley, CA at 510-881-8010 to schedule an appointment for a checkup today.
Creative Dimensions Dentistry proudly serves Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward, Oakland, Fremont, Russell City and all surrounding areas.