Understanding Dentures And The Issue Of Bone Loss

Dentures have often been used to replace missing teeth, whether several teeth are missing or the entire dental arch is in need of restoration. And, while dentures are the best choice for many, there are some concerns over jaw bone loss. If this is a concern of yours, keep reading to learn why it happens and what you can do about it.

Why Is Bone Loss An Issue?

Bone loss is a concern when it comes to dentures because consistent pressure is no longer placed on the jaw in the same way it was when the teeth were present. This may sound like a good thing, but the pressure is actually quite necessary to ensure that the jaw is actively forming new tissues at the same rate that old ones are lost. This is called bone remodeling and the body knows that the more stress that is placed on the bone, the more tissue is required to retain the weight and pressure. 

Since the dentures place little to no pressure on the jaw, as much as 50% to 70% of the bone density can be lost during the first one to five years of denture use. This can make it more difficult to chew food and the jaw may be brittle and more likely to fracture as you get older. This can affect the way that you are able to eat the foods that you enjoy.

In addition to function, you will also notice some aesthetic differences with dentures. As the bone starts to wear away, the cheeks and face may start to look sunken in. And, this can appear quite drastic to some people.

What Can Be Done About Bone Loss?

The best way to prevent bone loss is to make sure that the bone is stimulated in the same way that it would be with the natural teeth. Dental implant devices can produce the same sort of pressure and can help retain the bone mass across the jaw. And, when it comes to dentures, implant devices can be used to anchor the denture in place. This is true of both partial and full denture formations. 

The implant secured devices are called fixed dentures and involve the placement of four to six implants along each dental ridge. The implants can secure to removable or permanently secured dentures.

Keep in mind that implant affixed dentures may sometimes require the placement of a bone graft if the jaw is already thin. However, the thickened jaw will often remain without much loss due to the stimulation from the implants.

Contact a business like Sidney Dental Associates Inc to learn more.