Ways To Stop Bone Loss With A Missing Tooth

One of the goals of modern dentistry is to mitigate the negative effects of a missing tooth. The most obvious effect of a missing tooth is aesthetic and the accompanying psychological and social disadvantages. However, a missing tooth has less obvious effect: bone loss. When a tooth is lost, the width, height, and volume of alveolar bone also decrease. As early as the first year after a tooth was lost, there is about 25% decrease in the width of the bone. After the alveolar bone, the jawbone also starts to melt away. As a result, the lower third of the face partially collapses and the individual becomes more prone to jaw fractures.

Here are some ways to stop bone loss with a missing tooth:

Dental implants

If the problem is caused by a missing tooth, you might think that wearing dentures is the easy cure. You're wrong. Dentures accelerate bone loss because they add more pressure on the bone ridge. Dental implants are better alternatives because they exert similar pressure on the jawbone as natural teeth. Dentures that are supported by dental implants are good alternatives too.

However, if a missing tooth has already reduced bone density, it may not be enough to hold the synthetic roots of the dental implants. You might need to undergo treatments to restore bone density and growth.

Bone Grafting

One of these restorative treatments is bone grafting. In this procedure, bone loss is replaced by a healthy donated bone from other parts of jaw or hip. Aside from replacing the lost bone, a bone graft also stimulates natural bone regrowth. Until then, there will be enough bone density to hold the dental implants.

Sinus Lifting

However, not all areas in the mouth can be addressed by bone grafting. If it's your upper back teeth that have been lost, the sinus cavity expands and the ridge bone recedes. Hence, the bone separating the sinus cavity and the oral cavity becomes very thin and cannot hold dental dentures. In this case, the sinus is lifted or pushed up and the gap is packed with bone graft material. Once the bone graft becomes fully integrated into the jawbone, dental implants can be installed.

Even if you simply don't care about the aesthetics, you shouldn't disregard a missing tooth because you'll face a more serious problem on bone loss. Consult a dentist like the ones at Smile City about dental implants, bone grafting, and sinus lifting to mitigate bone loss resulting from a missing tooth.