Tooth loss is a major problem in America. Studies show that almost 30% of the adult US population is missing all or some of their teeth. In fact, one study by CW Douglas estimated that by 2020 over 37.9 million Americans will be edentulous and that over 56.5 million dentures would be made the same year.
The team at Jordan Elbridge Family Dental wants to change those numbers – not only by helping our patients keep their teeth longer but also by replacing teeth with a far superior method to full or partial dentures – dental implants!
Dental implants do more than sit on top of your gums and give you false teeth. Tooth implants – both single dental implants and implant-retained dentures, are supported by titanium implant posts surgically implanted into your jaw or facial bone to hold your teeth in place without adhesives and without pinching or slipping, just the way your natural roots did. Sure, these posts hold your beautiful implant crowns or implant-retained dentures, but they also replace your tooth roots – and that’s a big deal!
There are parts of our smiles that we rarely consider unless they hurt or are damaged. One of those is your gums. The other is your tooth roots. Unless you have had a root canal or a difficult extraction, you may never have considered the roots of your teeth at all. But those roots are just as important as your gums for holding your teeth securely in place. And that’s not all those tooth roots do. Tooth roots also keep your jaw and facial bones strong. Sounds far-fetched, right? What do your teeth anchors have to do with bones? A lot!
Tooth roots start their job by helping teeth grow. Teeth erupt through the bone and move into place with the help of their roots, similar to the way plants push up from the soil. But unlike plant roots, tooth roots are not necessary for keeping the tooth nourished. Instead, those roots keep the bone they are attached to stimulated.
All bone needs to be exercised to maintain density and dimension. We know this is why women who are prone to osteoporosis are encouraged to lift weights, for example. Imagine your leg. Walking, jumping, working out –– all of your activities keep your leg muscles and bones strong and vital. Put a cast on that leg and stop using it, and things start to change. When the cast comes off, you will notice that not only has your muscle diminished, your bone is thinner and more porous.
The same is true for all of the bone in your body – including your jaw and facial bones. When you have your natural teeth, chewing and biting causes the tooth roots to exercise the bones they are connected to. But when teeth are lost, that stimulation ends and your bones immediately begin to shrink and “resorb” into your body.
Some people believe that dentures, bridges or partials can stop the problem of bone loss. Not so. Because there is no bone stimulation below those prosthetics, the bone continues to shrink. It is why so many people with dentures find themselves using more and more adhesive to keep their dentures in place and why dentures have to be refitted so often. It’s also why people feel as if they have aged overnight, their faces looking collapsed and their skin lacking a support structure.
When you choose dental implants to replace your missing teeth, you can say goodbye to denture adhesives, embarrassing moments of slippage, painful chewing, and overnight soaks. Better yet, you can find renewed confidence knowing that your bone will stay strong and vital while you eat, laugh, and talk the way you did with your natural teeth. Nutrition is improved, TMJ pain averted, and all that bone exercise will keep your face looking younger and more vibrant as well.
If you would like to find out more about how dental implants work and if they are a good option for you, visit our Implant Dentistry page or call us today and schedule a consultation.