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How Dental Implants Help Facial Structure

Dental implants are one of the biggest achievements of modern dentistry. This is a type of dental restoration that is permanent and secure, returning patients the joy of having beautiful and functional teeth. Losing your natural teeth is uncomfortable on its own, but also it can change the way your face looks. In this article, we will discuss how your dental implants help facial structure and discuss other benefits of this type of dental restoration.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are metal posts, also called screws, that are surgically put in your jawbone. They are used to support different types of dental restorations, like crowns, bridges, and dentures. Dental implants are used to restore the appearance and function of your teeth. They improve the ability to speak and chew various foods necessary for proper nutrition. And they prevent jaw bone loss.

Why Facial Structure Changes Following Tooth Loss?

Many people are aware that tooth loss can cause inconveniences with eating and speaking. And, of course, it is obvious that the absence of teeth noticeably changes your smile. However, not everyone knows that tooth loss can also significantly change your facial structure. This mostly happens because of the process called resorption.

Bone resorption in dentistry is the process of breaking down bone tissue following tooth loss. It is a natural process that happens because your body believes the bones that support your teeth do not perform their function anymore. Teeth that used to provide stimulation to the bone are no longer there. Thus, calcium, a valuable resource that was previously sent to your jawbones, is now being sent to other parts of the body that are considered to be more “useful.”

The process of bone resorption inevitably leads to changes in facial structure as the jaw bone literally shrinks in size. This is sometimes referred to as a sunken appearance of the face. Keeping your jawbone in its original shape is crucial to how your face will look as you age.

How Dental Implants Help Facial Structure

As we mentioned before, dental implants are metal posts that are placed by your dentist in the bone and later fuse with it. Your body will deposit bone tissue around the implant in the process called osseointegration. Your new dental implant will serve as a new root in the place of a lost natural one.

Over time, your dental implant will be as stable and secure as your natural teeth. The dental implant will provide the necessary stimulation to the jaw bone, making your body believe that it is still functional and useful. This stops the process of resorption (bone loss).

How Soon Should You Get Dental Implants After Tooth Loss?

Ideally, the sooner you replace your missing teeth with dental implants, the better. Most dentists will recommend getting implants right away. The immediacy is caused by the fact that patients lose about 25 percent of the width of the bone already in the first year after tooth loss. Thus, timely action will prevent the process of bone resorption in the early stages.

The longer you wait, the less bone structure and density remain, meaning that getting dental implants can become impossible due to insufficient bone support available. If bone loss is significant, you might require bone grafting procedures to help the bone regenerate before you can get dental implants. This makes the whole process more time-consuming and expensive.

How Long Will It Take?

Unfortunately, the process of osseointegration does not happen overnight. You should be ready to allow several months for your new dental implants to fuse with your bone completely and become secure. During this time, you will wear a temporary crown. However, the new implant will begin to stimulate the bone right away. This means the immediate stop of the bone resorption process. Once the healing process is complete, a permanent crown will be securely attached to the implant post.

Even though the process of getting dental implants takes time, it will pay off in the long run, as it will solve many oral health, general health, and appearance issues related to tooth loss for years to come.

Make an Appointment Today

If you experience tooth loss and consider getting dental implants, make an appointment at Valley Alder dental office today. Our dentists are highly qualified dental implants specialists. We will make sure to offer you the best course of action for restoring the look and function of your smile after a careful and thorough examination of your case. We are looking forward to welcoming you to our clinic.