Tooth Loss and Jawbone Deterioration


When teeth are lost, the jaw loses its source of stimulation and can begin to atrophy. If left untreated, bone loss can lead to severe complications such as facial collapse, dental misalignment, and difficulty eating. Although traditional dentures can address cosmetic concerns as well as enable patients to chew soft foods, dental implants provide a more stable and functional solution. These posts can prevent bone loss, encourage bone regrowth, and provide unrivaled support for restorations. By providing the Washington, D.C., area with high-quality implant-supported crowns and bridges, Dr. Neil L. Starr can replace missing teeth and effectively address jawbone deterioration to preserve your oral health.

x-ray of tooth loss

After tooth loss, the jawbone naturally begins to deteriorate, which can impact the form and function of your smile.

Consequences of Missing Teeth

It is estimated that two thirds of Americans suffer from tooth loss. While the cosmetic impact of missing teeth is immediately apparent, there are several other consequences to consider. Gaps in your dental arch can make eating difficult and lead to uneven wear on surrounding and opposite teeth. Often, other teeth will shift to fill these gaps, resulting in misalignment and further complications in bite and oral function. In addition, many patients suffering from tooth loss find it difficult to properly enunciate when speaking. 

Missing Teeth and Bone Loss 

When teeth are lost, the jaw loses its source of vital stimulation that comes from chewing, resulting in jawbone atrophy. Diminishing tissue can affect the strength of bone around adjacent teeth, which can lead to further tooth loss. As the jaw deteriorates, it can also affect your appearance, shortening the distance between the nose and chin and creating a sunken, more aged look.

Dental Implants as Preventative Treatment for Bone Loss 

Although traditional bridges and dentures are an option for patients suffering from missing teeth, dental implants provide the most natural-looking and functional solution while preventing additional bone loss. A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed in the jawbone. These biocompatible posts act as artificial tooth roots, stimulating the jaw with each bite you take. During a process called osseointegration, the posts will fuse with surrounding bone tissue and become a permanent part of your smile. As a result, they not only encourage bone regrowth but act as a strong foundation for restorations.

Dr. Starr has decades of experience overseeing and providing dental implants treatment. He lectures to surgeons and reconstructive dentists worldwide.

Patients who have already experienced bone loss because of missing teeth are often good candidates for alternative types of dental implants, such as mini implants. Mini dental implants require a less invasive procedure than traditional implant posts and can be supported by less jaw tissue. As with traditional implants, mini dental implants can help prevent bone loss and eliminate the risk of facial collapse or physical changes due to jaw deterioration. 

Protect Your Oral Health

Patients who have missing teeth should consult a restorative dentist as soon as possible to prevent further bone loss in the jaw. Dr. Starr has decades of experience overseeing and providing dental implants treatment. He lectures to surgeons and reconstructive dentists worldwide. Call Dr. Starr’s office at (202) 293-7177 or contact our team online to schedule a consultation.