When you take a look at people over 40 or so, you can see many a mouth with a gap in it. Most people don’t get too concerned when they lose their first adult too, whether through a sports injury, or infection or decay that leads to having to extract it.
That’s because they may not know what happens to the underlying jawbone when it no longer has a tooth in it. In fact they may not know until they have lost several teeth and then their dentist may decide to refer them to a dental implants centre, such as Moor Park Dental in London.
What happens after tooth loss?
The effect on the jawbone from lost teeth is fast and detrimental. The bone where teeth used to be loses its density, and also shrinks in width and height. The gums in the gap start to recede. All this can cause neighbouring teeth to become looser, and even tip into the gap left by that lost tooth.
Dental implants stop bone loss by giving it the stimulation it needs to regenerate. Without that stimulation along the jawbone, it actually starts to melt away.
These consequences affect the shape of the face. As the jawbone shrinks, the distance between the chin and the tip of the nose decreases, the cheeks sag, the mouth caves inwards. The result is a face that looks much older than it actually is. This comedy sketch, gurning look we associate with dentures, is actually caused by missing tooth roots.
Dental implants stop this happening. They are made of titanium, a bio-compatible metal that stimulates bone tissue to grow and then fuses with it. The implants take a few months to fuse with the jawbone. Once they have the dentist inserts an internal screw, called an abutment, into the implant. They can then attach the necessary artificial crowns to this. That could be a single artificial crown, or a bridge of several teeth. An entire set of upper or lower teeth can be attached to between 4 and 6 implants. The crowns are custom-made to be indistinguishable from your natural teeth and should last a lifetime.