Stop Jawbone Atrophy with Dental Implants

Jawbone atrophy describes the process whereby bone deteriorates in gum tissue due to tooth loss. The result is a shriveled appearance, and provides the potential for remaining teeth to drift. This process can be halted by placing dental implants where tooth loss has occurred.

When one or more teeth are either removed or lost due to trauma or disease, the missing tooth and its root create a cavity in the gum tissue. When this occurs, the surrounding bone deteriorates and gum tissue starts to shrink around the empty space.

A dental implant is designed to be placed in the cavity the root once occupied. The small implant is usually made from titanium, a metal with the unique properties that promote bone growth. Over time, the implant solidifies in place with the specific intent of offering support and strength to the tooth structure that will cover it.

The use of titanium for this purpose was discovered by a doctor in Sweden. While conducting research he placed a piece of titanium in the leg of a rabbit. When attempting to retrieve the titanium for his study, he found that bone had naturally grown around the implant, making removal virtually impossible.

A few more years of research led to the first experiment of using titanium as a dental implant. The recipient enjoyed a successful implant that was still intact and functional when he passed away some 40 years later.

This very first implant occurred in the 1960’s, but it wasn’t until years later that the practice of placing dental implants became an acceptable approach to tooth loss in the United States. This has now become a widely accepted and performed procedure.

Dental implants are often surgically placed by an oral surgeon. After several months of healing, final restorations in the form of a crown or an implant supported bridge are permanently cemented in place.

Once completed, the patient has halted jawbone atrophy; there is a tooth in place that matches the surrounding teeth allowing the patient to smile with confidence, eat any foods without restriction, and speak without fear of embarrassment.

The dental implant requires no special care … daily brushing and flossing coupled with visits to the dentist every six months for a cleaning and check-up will keep remaining biological teeth and dental implants healthy for a lifetime.