North River Dental Care

Can a Missing Tooth Lead to Bone Loss?

Drawing of the upper arch of teeth missing a front tooth, leaving a gap that will cause bone loss

Missing a tooth? You might think that replacing it is not worth the cost and effort, and that you’ll be just fine with the gap. However, you’re actually putting yourself at risk for bone loss by not addressing the missing tooth.

Yes, a missing tooth can lead to bone loss! When a tooth is missing and you’re left with a gap, that area of the jawbone does not receive the stimulation that the natural tooth provided. Because the activity of bone-remodeling/degrading cells (called osteoclasts) outpaces the activity of bone-building cells (called osteoblasts), your jaw can start to deteriorate as a result.

Preventing Bone Loss with Dental Implants

If you need to have a tooth extracted, Dr. Bailey will encourage you to consider a replacement solution. It’s important that you do this to reduce your risk of issues, such as shifting of the adjacent teeth, facial sagging, gum disease, and decreased confidence. Dental implants are ideal because they offer a realistic look and feel while being the healthiest option for your long-term jawbone health. Forces from chewing transfer to the implant, which then stimulate growth in your jawbone to prevent degeneration.

What Is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a titanium post that is inserted like a screw into the jawbone in place of the tooth root. As the area heals, the implant fuses with the jawbone to create a sturdy and strong base for attachment of an artificial tooth. The result is a tooth restoration that will allow you to eat, speak, and smile completely normally. You may even forget it’s not the real thing!

If you’re missing a tooth, the good news is that you’ve got options here at North River Dental Care. We offer multiple restorative options, such as dental implants and dentures, and would be happy to help you select the best option for your individual situation. Click our contact link or give our office a call to book a consultation.

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Missing tooth image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

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