When all your teeth are missing, this affects more than just the appearance of your smile. Missing teeth signal to the body that the jawbone is no longer needed to support the teeth. The body starts to resorb the bone, the jawbone begins to shrink, and minerals from it are used elsewhere in your body.
Below is a diagram of an endentulous bite and facial collapse, which can be prevented with dental implants by Port St. Lucie dentist Dr. Aaron Schamback.
As jawbone shrinkage continues, in 15 to 20 years there won’t be enough bone to support the facial muscles. Nor will there be sufficient bone to support dentures. So your face has a shriveled or sunken appearance; it collapses.
The diagram to the right is an example of how an endentulous bite (in which all the teeth are missing) causes the face to shrink and have a shriveled appearance.
Facial Collapse Can Be Avoided
Facial collapse doesn’t have to occur. Dental implants can prevent it. How?
A dental implant serves as an artificial tooth root, but it is made of titanium. When an implant is surgically placed in your jawbone, it is a signal to your body that your jawbone is still needed to prevent facial collapse. As few as two implants can be used to support your dentures, although the more implants you have, the more effective they will be.
If you have already begun to experience these symptoms, it is not too late to find a solution. Bone grafting can be used to build up your jawbone so it can support dental implants. After a healing period, dentures can be secured to the implants.
Dr. Schwartz is a board-certified periodontist who has successfully placed more than 5,000 dental implants and provided bone grafting for many patients. He will be able to determine if you are a candidate for dental implants.
Contact our office to request a complimentary consultation to discuss your treatment options.