For patients with significant tooth loss, dentures can be a fast, affordable treatment option. However, it is important to discuss all treatment options with your dentist before deciding on a treatment plan.
As with any dental procedure, there are pros and cons to various treatment options. Here, Drs. Brian Bell and Justin Crocker explain why the use of traditional dentures can lead to bone loss and discuss various alternative treatment options that are available at our Lake Jackson, TX practice.
What Happens after Tooth Loss?
When the teeth are present and healthy, the roots remain anchored in the jawbone. When you chew or speak, micromovements beneath the gum line send restorative signals to the jaw.
As a result, the surrounding bone stays healthy and intact. Furthermore, this stimulation keeps the bone tissue from receding in the future.
Once a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone begins to deteriorate. This is because no tooth root is present to stimulate the jaw. Consequently, the bone tissue continues to resorb over time. This is why individuals who have suffered prolonged tooth loss often have a gaunt, hollowed, or sunken-in appearance.
What Traditional Dentures Can Do
Traditional dentures can replace several, or all, of the teeth in the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both. These appliances rest on the gum tissue and rely on the jawbone underneath for support. Conventional dentures fill in gaps and spaces and restore the appearance of your smile.
What Traditional Dentures Cannot Do
While dentures can replace the crowns of missing teeth, they do not replace the missing roots. As aforementioned, the tooth roots are essential to maintaining the health of the supporting jawbone. Therefore, patients who wear traditional dentures will continue to experience bone loss as time goes on.
Are There Alternative Options?
Fortunately, there are alternatives to traditional dentures. Implant-supported restorations replace both the crowns of the teeth and the missing roots, offering optimal aesthetics, function, and health.
If you are missing a few consecutive teeth, an implant-supported bridge could be an option for you. This restoration is similar to a traditional bridge. The difference, however, is that it rests on dental implants rather than natural teeth.
To avoid the issues commonly associated with traditional dentures, some patients can qualify for implant-supported dentures. These appliances stay firmly in place.
Until recent years, individuals suffering the effects of prolonged tooth loss could not qualify for dental implants due to bone loss. The All-on-4® technique, however, can replace a whole arch of missing teeth using just four dental implants.
Due to the strategic placement of the implant posts, most patients can receive their dental implants and a temporary fixed restoration, all on the same day.
Contact Bell Dental Today
If you have significant tooth loss, it does not have to affect your quality of life. To learn more about your options, contact Bell Dental online or give us a call at (979) 297-1201. We can help you find a solution that will fit your lifestyle and budget.