Bone Loss & Implants
What to do with implant based tooth replacement:
Don't wait! In implant based tooth replacement this can work against the process. Once a tooth is lost, the clock starts ticking. We have a limited amount of time to place the implant before enough bone is lost that an implant is no longer an option.
Our bodies are amazing units. They heal and adapt to stress, racing resources along to build up areas that need help. The immune system ramps up when an invader is detected. Our adrenal glands start pumping out epinephrine when a dangerous or intense situation is detected by our brain. But along with those comes some negative.
When our body senses stress to our bones it lays down a denser, bone to reinforce that area receiving stress. However, when the stress is removed, our body sometimes removes the bone in that area because it is no longer needed. This is the case when a tooth is extracted. Our body starts to break down the bone where the tooth was because the pressure exerted on the tooth from chewing is no longer present.
The first year after extraction we often lose in excess of 20% of the bone at the site. Every year after an average of 8 to 10% of additional bone is lost. Pretty soon there is not enough remaining bone to effectively place the implant without doing extensive bone grafts. If the bone loss is advanced enough, then placing a dental implant is no longer an option.