Tooth loss is an unfortunate dental complication that affects many patients each year. Tooth loss does more than just compromise the appearance of the smile. It disrupts oral functions and threatens the strength and structure of the jawbone. There are many restorative dentistry treatments to rebuild a damaged smile and renew the beauty of the teeth. However, not all restorative dentistry treatments are the same. While all treatments for missing teeth replace the crown of the tooth, only dental implants replace the tooth’s roots as well.
The roots of a tooth actually play a very important role. Traditional restorations, such as dental bridges, do not address the loss of the tooth roots. That is why traditional dental bridges can cause jawbone loss for our Philadelphia, PA patients. To avoid the risk of jawbone loss that is associated with traditional dental bridges, Dr. Bruce Wilderman offers dental implant-supported dental bridges.
The Importance of the Tooth Roots
The crown of a tooth is the portion that sits above the gum line and affects the appearance of the smile. The crown also serves important dental functions, enabling patients to bite and chew food. As far as most people are concerned, these are the primary functions of the teeth.
However, the roots of the tooth, which sit below the gum line, are extremely important, too. A tooth’s roots help to anchor the crown in place. Without a secure root system, the teeth would not be stable enough to serve their functions. In addition, the roots of the tooth provide stimulation to the jawbone. When the teeth are used to bite or chew, the jawbone is stimulated. This triggers the production of blood and nutrients to the area, keeping the jawbone in good health. Unfortunately, when only the crown of a tooth is replaced, the jawbone will fail to receive the stimulation it needs.
Risks of Jawbone Loss
While a traditional bridge can enhance the beauty and function of the smile, it does not stimulate the jawbone. Over time, the jawbone will begin to deteriorate. This jawbone loss can cause a number of problems, including:
- Impaired oral functions
- Gum recession
- Loss of more teeth
- Collapse of the facial structure
Preventing Jawbone Loss
If adult teeth have been lost, the best way to prevent jawbone loss is to replace missing teeth with dental implants. Dental implants are surgically implanted into the jaw where they act as replacements for a tooth’s roots. These implants anchor down dental restorations, such as crowns, bridges, and dentures, so the smile looks beautiful and continues to function as it should. When biting and chewing, the dental implant will absorb the shock of the bite and the ligaments in the jawbone will receive the stimulation they need to promote the continual growth of healthy tissues. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement treatment that helps patients avoid jawbone loss.
If you have suffered from tooth loss, it is important to repair your smile before further damage develops. Dr. Bruce Wilderman offers a wide range of restorative dentistry treatments, including dental implants, which will restore the health, strength, and beauty of your smile. To learn more about these dental treatments, contact us at your earliest convenience.