This post from Neal C. Johnson DMD in Billings focuses on missing teeth and bone health.
Our teeth have many vital functions. We need them to chew our food, talk, and smile. But have you ever considered their role in holding up your face? When we lose teeth, the bone around the site of the extraction begins to loosen. This, in turn, causes the facial muscles to sink in and collapse.
We sometimes think of bone as a solid mass, unlike the softer tissues in our body. In reality, below the seemingly rock-hard surface, bone tissue is full of small holes, kind of like a sponge. In the interior bone tissue, the bone is continuously regenerating itself. This process is sometimes called “bone metabolism.”
In the jaw bone, the movement of the teeth stimulates this process of regeneration. When a tooth is gone, the bone starts to shrink as blood flow is reduced.
People with missing teeth not only have a gap in their smile, they begin to look older because of the bone recession and eventual facial sagging. It is not simply an issue of attractiveness—it poses serious health hazards. It may become difficult to chew food, making it harder to get correct nutrition. Mental health can also be impacted when a patient with missing teeth loses confidence or withdraws from social situations because they are self-conscious about their smile.
Dental Implants Can Prevent Bone Recession
Modern dentistry to the rescue! Dental implant technology provides a tooth restoration solution that maintains healthy bone metabolism while providing near-normal tooth function. An implant is a titanium post that is placed in the jaw, where the tooth root used to be. An artificial tooth is fitted to the top of the post.
The titanium post simulates the root function, and the bone actually grows around it and fuses. This can limit, and even halt, bone recession.
To find out more about dental implants and whether you are a good candidate, call us at Neal C. Johnson DMD in Billings. We also provide a full range of family dentistry services. Schedule an appointment today!
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