When it comes to replacing a lost tooth (or several lost teeth), dental implants are often the most beneficial restorative option. However, many patients don’t realize that what dental implants do for your oral health extend beyond replacing what you can see. As implants, the small titanium root devices are designed to replace the lost teeth roots that once rested in your jawbone. As a result, the prosthetic teeth roots can help preserve your smile more efficiently than conventional teeth replacement options, like traditional bridges and dentures.
Before dental implants became a staple of restorative dentistry, the only way to replace lost teeth was with a dental bridge, partial, or complete denture. While effective, these options can only replace the parts of your teeth that rest above the gum line (called the crowns). By contrast, dental implants are inserted into the jawbone, underneath the gums, and are utilized to support adental crown, bridge, or denture in a more lifelike manner.
Much like your teeth themselves, tooth loss consists of more than what you can readily see. For instance, besides the gap a lost tooth leaves in your smile, there’s also the matter of the upheaved root, which used to provide stimulation to keep your jawbone healthy. Because of the loss, your jawbone can gradually grow weaker and unable to support the rest of your teeth, leading to more tooth loss.
Yet, if you replace the lost root with a dental implant, and then top the implant with a dental crown (or other appropriate restoration), you can help prevent future tooth loss by preserving the strength of your jawbone. As you bite and chew, the replacement tooth and the implant that supports it act as healthy, natural teeth, including providing stimulation to your jawbone to maintain a healthy flow of minerals and nutrients.