Why Implant Dentistry?

Implant Dentistry is probably the single most important and impactful development in dental care in the past fifty years. The loss of teeth impacts a person’s health and wellbeing for the rest of their life. Tooth loss is a contributing factor in many diseases associated with aging and is the primary cause of changes to face that lead to an “elderly” appearance.

Implant dentistry helps correct the number one problem caused by losing teeth – bone loss.

When a tooth is extracted, the surrounding bone is no longer affected by the pressure of biting on the missing tooth. This causes the bone to “shrink” – with a 30% loss of surrounding bone thickness and a 4mm decrease in bone height in the first year alone. Bone loss will continue indefinitely, with factors including health, age and hormone levels determining the rate of loss. Traditional solutions, such as dentures, actually speed up bone loss. The bone needs internal stimulation to grow and maintain strength, implants act much like the roots of a tooth in this regard.

Illustration from Misch’s Contemporary Implant Dentistry – dental school textbook.

Illustration from Misch’s Contemporary Implant Dentistry – dental school textbook.

Changes to face caused by bone loss

Bone loss is the leading cause of changes to the shape of the face with age.

The bone loss triggered by losing a single tooth will cause the surrounding teeth to move towards the gap, opening spaces between neighboring teeth and potential misalignment. In the case of losing most or all of a person’s teeth, the loss of bone is more dramatic, leading to changes in the shape of the face and an “elderly” appearance. The loss of bone causes the face to shorten. The chin rises and appears to jut out as the lips pull inward. This in turn makes the nose look bigger. Together, these lead to an effect called “witches chin”.  The loss of bone makes the lips appear to thin as they move back and roll inward. As the chin rises and the lips pull inward, this causes the cheeks to thicken along the jawline and droop, a major contributor to the formation of “jowls”. Dental implants help prevent bone loss, much like a natural tooth – it puts internal pressure on the bone, stimulating it to stay strong.

In Summary

Dental implants are an important part of staying healthy as you age. They are lower maintenance than other tooth replacement procedures and look and feel completely natural. Implant supported full-arch replacements, like Better-on-8 can prevent many of the changes to the face associated with aging and help prevent an “elderly” appearance. Avoid the problems of outdated solutions to tooth loss (and the potential plastic surgery) and get a free consultation today. We provide insurance and financing options to help you affordably have your best smile – for life!