If you lose all of your pearly whites, your first thought is likely to be, “I need dentures.” After all, they’re probably the most famous solution for missing teeth, and the modern versions are more lifelike and comfortable than ever before. But how much can they really do? Your teeth play a role in preventing bone loss to keep your jaw healthy; can dentures give you this benefit as well, or will you need to look elsewhere?
Why Would Your Jaw Suffer from Bone Loss?
Your jawbone is a little like a muscle: you need to use it in order to keep it strong. Whenever you chew or bite down on something, your teeth stimulate the bone, prompting it to rebuild itself constantly. When a tooth is gone, however, the lack of stimulation tells the body that the area is no longer “needed” and won’t maintain it anymore. Over time, the jaw will lose its density and form, and your cheeks and lips will lose their support; as a result, you’ll look much older.
Can Dentures Stop Bone Loss from Happening?
Dentures are used to help you perform everyday tasks such as eating and speaking, and they’re very effective for this purpose. Unfortunately, because they rest on top of your gums and don’t interact with the jawbone at all, there’s nothing they can do to prevent bone loss. The jaw will continue to deteriorate over time and eventually change the shape of your mouth; as a result, your dentures eventually won’t fit anymore and will need to be adjusted or replaced.
So what else can you do? The good news is that your jawbone can be saved, but it’ll take a different kind of restoration that addresses the “root” of the problem: dental implants.
How Can Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss?
A dental implant is a metal post that is surgically inserted into the jaw and naturally integrates with the bone. This way, they can replace the roots of the natural teeth and give the jaw the stimulation it needs. As a bonus, prosthetic teeth that have been secured to an implant won’t slip, and you’ll be able to eat a wider variety of foods.
Another big advantage of implants is that they can support many kinds of tooth restorations – including dentures! An entire arch of false teeth can be supported by four to eight metal posts. This lets you fully repair your smile while enjoying the health benefits of dental implants.
Not every patient will be eligible for implants. If too much bone loss has already occurred, for example, your jaw won’t be dense enough to support the posts. Talk with your dentist in Newtown about all of the available options so you can pick the one that’s best for you.
About the Practice
At The Dentists of Newtown, we have a large team of general dentists, cosmetic dentists and specialists that can address all of your dental needs under one roof; no need for the hassle of traveling to different offices! We can provide dentures and dental implants for patients suffering from a lack of teeth. To schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (215) 579-9900.