HomeBlogHow to Prevent Bone Loss After Tooth Extraction

The jawbone not only securely holds the roots of a tooth in place, but is also dependent on healthy teeth to stimulate bone cells. When teeth are extracted or lost, bone tissue in that area recedes since the tooth roots are gone and are no longer able to enhance jawbone density. Bone deterioration after tooth loss can be a very serious problem in that it can create significant risks to surrounding teeth. In fact, untreated jawbone deterioration can ultimately cause healthy teeth to shift in the mouth or even become completely dislodged. It may also lead to gum recession and other severe conditions. 

Tooth extractions are most often performed as a last resort, and our dentists in Elgin will only recommend an extraction if the natural tooth is so damaged that it is beyond saving. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that can be taken to prevent bone loss after an extraction and minimize its effects on overall dental health. 

In most cases, replacement of the extracted tooth or teeth with a dental implant is recommended. Dental implants are unlike other missing teeth replacement options—such as dental bridges or dentures—because they are essentially designed to imitate natural teeth right down to the roots, ultimately becoming a permanent part of the jaw. Since a dental implant fuses to the jawbone itself, it can enhance stimulation of jawbone tissue and reduce the likelihood of significant bone loss. This is all in addition to the many functional and aesthetic benefits of a dental implant, including greater dietary freedoms and a more natural appearance. 

It’s also important to maintain excellent oral hygiene and completely avoid the use of tobacco products after a tooth extraction. Inadequate at-home dental care regimens can lead to periodontal (gum) disease and increase the potential for bone loss. Tobacco use can also increase infection risk, slow healing, and exacerbate the risk of bone loss. 

It is important to note that bone recession in the area of the missing tooth or teeth often starts very quickly following extraction, so it is good to start exploring replacement options before the extraction is even performed in order to have a treatment plan ready as soon as possible. That said, even patients who have multiple missing teeth or who have been wearing traditional dentures for years may still be able to restore a healthy, confident smile using All-on-4® implant dentures. While it is better to replace the tooth or teeth as soon as possible, our experienced implant dentists have extensive experience rehabilitating smiles, and they can develop a personalized treatment plan that is suited to the needs of each individual.

To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Smile for Life Dental today.

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