Our patients deal with tooth loss for a variety of reasons. Some are lost due to an injury or accident, others are lost from excess tooth decay and even some are lost because of serious gum disease. Regardless of why the tooth or teeth were lost, finding the right replacement option is essential to protecting the smile. Most people want replacements for missing teeth primarily for the aesthetic purposes, but few realize that missing teeth can actually cause the jawbone to deteriorate.


How Is Bone Lost?


The jawbone retains its density and shape with stimulation from the teeth themselves as they bite and chew. This provides regular tooth movement that makes it possible for the jawbone to continue to rebuild and grow to support teeth. Once a tooth is missing, there is no longer a way to stimulate that specific area of the jawbone, which causes it to lose height, width and volume. This can eventually cause the face’s structure to change.


How Implants Help


In the past, patients have relied mostly on traditional dentures to do the job of replacing missing teeth, but those don’t solve the problem of stimulating the jawbone. Today, there is another option that addresses both issues.


Dental implants are placed in the jawbone in a way that mimics the natural root of the tooth. Small titanium posts are inserted in the jawbone through surgery and the implants then attach to crowns, bridges or dentures. The titanium post in the jaw acts as the natural root and the bone grows around the implant. This stimulates the jawbone to grow and rebuild, the same as the natural tooth would. The process preserves the structure of the face and the natural look of the smile.


Discuss the Benefits with Us


At Dr. Van Horn’s office, our main goal is to give you a healthy, white smile you can feel comfortable about. We are happy to discuss your restorative options when you contact us for a consultation.