Dental implants are artificial teeth people choose to get when they have gaps in their mouths. To get one, though, a dentist will examine a person's mouth to make sure there is enough jawbone there to support the implant. The bone the dentist examines is located in the jaw, just below or above where the gap is, and here are a few things you should understand about this bone and how it affects the ability to get dental implants.
Jawbone deteriorates without teeth
The first thing to understand is that your jawbone is there to serve several purposes, and two of these purposes include to hold your face in place and to hold your teeth securely in place. When a tooth falls out or is extracted, it leaves a gap. When a gap is present, the jawbone in this gap tends to deteriorate, and the process of this deterioration starts occurring almost immediately after the tooth comes out. This primarily occurs because your jawbone needs your teeth in order to stay strong and replenish itself. When there is no tooth there, the jawbone does not receive the stimulation it needs to accomplish this, and this leads the bone to wear away.
Without enough bone, you cannot get an implant
When there is not enough bone present in the area of a gap, a dentist will tell you that you cannot get an implant placed in this area. A dental implant will not hold securely in place without enough bone, and that is why a dentist will not put an implant in an area that is lacking in bone. A dentist could, however, fix the bone in this area and then put the implant in. To do this, the dentist would have to graft the bone, which means that he or she would add extra bone to your existing jawbone. Once this process occurs and heals, the bone would be strong enough to support the implant.
If you have several missing teeth, there is an alternative option
One last thing to understand is that if you are missing multiple teeth, there is an alternative option you could consider, which is a dental implant system that uses only up to four implants to support multiple artificial teeth. This system is often called the All-on-4 system, and it tends to work well for people who need multiple teeth replaced.
If you have questions about bone loss and dental implants, visit a dental clinic in your city to find out what options you have for replacing missing teeth.