How 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 a tooth is extracted or lost, bone tissue in that area recedes since the tooth’s 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. 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 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!
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 disease and increase the potential for bone loss, while tobacco use can also present a significant risk. Also, it is important to note that bone recession in the area of the missing tooth 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.
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. With that in mind, there are ways to effectively restore missing teeth and help maintain jawbone health at the same time, ultimately reducing the potential for severe dental problems down the road.
To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Smile for Life Dental today.