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Why Traditional Dentures Can Lead to Bone Loss

Dr. Degel Nov 8, 2016

A pair of full denturesAt Astoria Dental Group, patients know that we are on their side. Our goal is always to enhance dental health and improve the appearance of smiles. This can be achieved through a wide array of restorative dentistry treatments and smile makeover options.

When it comes to missing teeth, dentures are a great solution. However, people with traditional dentures may experience bone loss. Let's go over the basics of bone loss and then consider one way that denture wearers can prevent bone loss from occurring.

What is Bone Loss?

Bone loss refers to the gradual loss of bone density in a part of the body. When it comes to missing teeth, this specifically refers to the loss of jaw bone density along the dental arch, whether in the upper jaw or lower jaw. This can be especially serious when people are missing many teeth. Bone loss occurs because the jawbone does not have any root structure to support and build around.

The Dangers of Bone Loss

When you lose bone density in the jaw, a few things happen that affect your appearance and your health.

First of all with regard to appearance, the loss of bone density in the jaw can lead to a sunken-in look around the lips and cheeks. This becomes especially pronounced when a person is missing most of their teeth along the dental arch.

More seriously, the loss of bone along the dental arch can cause your remaining teeth to come loose and shift in position. In some cases, the loss of a few teeth can lead to the loss of the rest of your teeth.

Why Don't Traditional Dentures Prevent Bone Loss?

While removable dentures can fit snugly around the dental arch and restore your ability to smile, bite, and chew, they do not anchor themselves directly into the tissues of the mouth. Traditional dentures won't provide the jawbone with structure to build around and support.

This is a serious issue to consider if you do wear dentures and your dentist has pointed out the loss of bone density.

Can Bone Loss Be Prevented?

Yes. The solution is the use of dental implants to support a denture, fixing it in place.

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically embedded into the jawbone and gum tissue. When in place, dental implants function just as natural tooth roots do. The titanium of the dental implants provide the bone some structure to build around and support. What's more, your denture is less likely to come loose or fall out thanks to the stability of the implants.

Ideal Candidates for Dental Implants

Good candidates for dental implants are people who are missing teeth and would like to have a fixed restoration in the area of the gap. Candidates should be in good overall health and be able to tolerate the oral surgery and the months-long healing process that ensures fusion of the implant with the jawbone.

If a patient has suffered from bone loss already and would still like to get dental implants, bone grafting surgery can be performed. This process uses donor bone or artificial bone tissue to build out the jawbone following bone loss. The new bone structure will then be dense enough to support an implant.

Are Dental Implants Right for Me?

The best way to find out if dental implants are right for you is to visit the practice for a consultation. We can go into more detail about the pros and cons, and also offer alternative treatment suggestions if dental implants are not an ideal solution.

Learn More About Your Dental Care Options

For more information about your treatment options for bone loss, missing teeth, and other health matters, be sure to contact the dentists of Astoria Dental Group today. Our team will help you make the ideal dental care choices given your situation.

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