You’ve heard that old saying you don’t what you’ve got until it’s gone, right? It’s definitely true when it comes to your teeth. If you’re like 36 million Americans with no natural teeth at all, however, you quickly find out that you need to adapt how you eat, speak, and smile. And beneath the surface, your jawbone needs support to remain healthy.
Fortunately, you have options for replacing your missing teeth. But are dentures enough? Can dentures help with jawbone preservation? Do dental implants really make a significant difference? How can you choose between dentures or implants in Marietta? Read on to find out!
When Teeth Go Missing
First, before you answer these questions, you need to understand what happens to the jawbone when teeth are lost. The roots of your teeth need the jaw bone for stability, but did you know that the jaw bone also needs the roots of your teeth? Without stimulation from tooth roots, the body reallocates nutrients to other areas. This means that the jaw bone loses density over time.
At first, bone density may not seem like a big deal, but it can have a drastic effect on your quality of life. With insufficient density, your jawbone will be more brittle and weak or, in other words, easier to break. This weaker state also makes it more difficult to eat nutritious foods, which can lead to other health problems. Furthermore, your jaw bone also plays an important role in how your face is structured. When the jawbone lacks roots to keep it strong, it shrinks, giving you a more sunken, older look.
Dentures’ Impact on Your Jaw Bone
Unfortunately, while dentures replace teeth above the gums’ surface, they do nothing to replace the roots underneath. As a result, dentures do not help with jaw preservation. In fact, some research indicates that dentures can actually accelerate the deterioration of the jawbone. Other studies have found that denture wearers tend to live 10 years less than those without dentures, possibly due to their loss of biting force.
Dentures with Dental Implants
Dentures alone are not beneficial for your jawbone, but pairing your dentures with dental implants is! Dental implants are surgically placed in the jawbone, just like tooth roots, and keep the jaw bone stimulated. The body continues to send nutrients to the jawbone, keeping it strong and healthy. As a result, you can retain your biting power and your youthful appearance.
In the end, attaching your dentures to implants is the only way you can hold onto your jawbone health after tooth loss. It’s worth the investment so that you can continue to have a healthy lifestyle and enjoy the long-term benefits of a strong jawbone.
About the Author
With nearly 20 years of experience, Dr. Jeff Lee brings expertise you won’t find at most dental practices. After completing his dental degree and a four-year residency at The Ohio State University, he served in the US Navy. Following that experience, he has practiced at Muskingum Valley Oral Surgery and now teaches in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Lee, you can contact the practice by clicking here.