THE ADVANTAGES OF ATLANTA DENTAL IMPLANTS
- Posted on: Jul 19 2012
WHAT ARE THE PSYCHOLOGIC, ESTHETIC AND FUNCTIONAL CONSEQUENCES OF TOOTH LOSS?
FACIAL BONE LOSS AND PREMATURE AGING—-CAN LOSING TEETH MAKE YOU LOOK OLDER?
The very important issue of facial bone loss following tooth extraction has been grossly neglected in dentistry. The devastating consequences of this kind of bone loss are multifaceted and complex, and severely affect many aspects of an individual’s life.
Replacement of missing teeth in traditional dentistry focused on restoring the lost tooth with dentures and bridges to provide chewing function. This approach however did not address the bone condition and prevent future bone loss. Now dentists and patients have another option. Dental implants are considered a permanent replacement of tooth loss. It works, looks, and acts like a natural tooth. But
As every one knows our skeletal system is the framework for our body, it holds all of our organs together. Muscles and skin drape over this framework and any change in this framework directly reflects through skin. Athletes are not able to create beautiful muscles and shape if they do not have a sufficiently strong skeletal and bone structure. Strong and well-shaped muscles simply would not have a framework to hold on to.
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TEETH AND THE SUPPORTING FACIAL BONE?
Development of the jawbone starts in the fetus stage (Hertwig’s root sheath) and is primarily initiated by presence and development of tooth buds, which develop into baby and adult teeth. The jawbone does not develop in the absence of baby or adult teeth. This close relationship between teeth and facial bone continues throughout life. The maintenance of the volume and density of facial bone is highly dependent upon teeth and the stimulating forces transmitted to the bone through functioning teeth. Every time these forces are modified, a definite change occurs in the internal architecture and external configuration (a piezoelectric effect). Bones need proper chewing forces to maintain their form and density. Teeth transmit compressive and tensile forces to the surrounding bone. When a tooth is lost, the lack of stimulation to its supporting bone causes a decrease in bone volume and density. According to credible research, 25% of bone loss occurs during the first year after tooth loss (a 4 mm decrease in height) and continues into the years to come (Carlssen 1967). In a 25 year longititudinal study (Talgren 1966) showed that bone loss was 4 times greater in the lower jaw bone.
A tooth is necessary for the development of facial bone, and stimulation of this bone by chewing forces is vital for maintenance of its volume and density. This issue, of utmost importance, has been ignored in the past and is currently being ignored by traditional dentistry. Dentists most often overlook facial bone loss that occurs after tooth extraction. The general public is often not educated about the anatomic, the potential esthetic, and functional consequences of continued bone loss. The bone loss often accelerates when the patient wears a removable denture. Yet patients do not understand that the bone loss occurs over time, and at a greater rate with removable dentures.
Traditional dentistry has emphasized preventive measures to decrease tooth loss. But unfortunately it has not addressed the issue of bone loss after tooth extraction. Tooth loss causes remodeling and shrinkage (resorption) of the supporting jawbone and eventually leads to atrophic facial bone and collapse of overlying muscle and skin. Although the patient is often not aware or informed of potential consequences, over time they will occur. Today, this issue should be prioritized and dentists must take it upon themselves to educate the public about the serious functional, psychological, and aesthetic consequences of bone loss.
Some of the advantages of dental implants include:
■Maintenance of facial bone. As previously discussed, dental implants prevent bone loss. This is due to stimulation of the jawbone by the chewing forces transmitted by inserted implants.
■Improved chewing ability. Dental implants provide a solid and stable foundation for new teeth. Patients are able to eat without worrying about moving or loose dentures.
■Improved speech. Eliminating bulky, loose dentures, improves phonetics significantly. Dental implants feel more like natural teeth and patients actually forget they have missing teeth.
■Improved psychological health. Having dental implants is like having a new set of natural teeth. With all the comfort of eating, talking, and socializing without the fear of embarrassment, the individual’s self image is tremendously enhanced.
■Improved esthetics. By preventing bone loss, often through bone repair and replacement, implant procedures significantly improve facial esthetics.
■Regained chewing awareness. Chewing forces are directly transmitted to the jawbone, which helps patient’s chewing awareness. With dentures, the roof of the mouth (palate) and all gum surfaces are covered, which prevents taste and chewing reception.
■Maintenance of muscles of chewing and facial expression. A sound, healthy bone structure is vital for intact overlying facial muscles. By preventing facial bone loss, dental implants maintain the integrity of facial muscles.
■Increased retention and stability of dentures. Loose, instable dentures can effectively be anchored to jawbone and provide stability and retention.
At Flax Dental we take pride in the wonderful health and appearance that we help our patients achieve. That takes a commitment to constant training and improvement.
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Posted in: Dentistry