You have a lot of tooth replacement options, so you might wonder what is special about implants. Actually, they have many benefits, with the best-know being superior stability. However, one of the lesser-known benefits (bone preservation) actually plays a role in that stability, as well as your appearance and oral health. The key to the success of implants is a process called osseo-integration.
What is osseo-integration and why should you care?
Osseo-integration is a complicated sounding term, and it refers to a complex process. Put simply, it means that living bone will accept a substance as if it were part of the body. The problem is that most substances do not have this property, which is why early attempts at implants failed. When researchers discovered a material that actually integrated with bone, the foundation for modern implant therapy was laid.
The body naturally rejects foreign objects, yet it loves implants. In fact, once your jawbone gets ahold of an implant, it doesn't turn loose. New bone cells attach themselves to the surface, as if they were hanging on for dear life. Actually, they are.
Without a natural tooth root, or an implant to replace it, those healthy new cells don't stand much of a chance. They probably wouldn't even be created. Why? The jawbone is designed to hold teeth. Once there is no root, that area of bone has nothing to do, so it just wastes away like a depressed couch potato. Old cells die off, and it doesn't bother to make new ones.
Benefits of preserving your jawbone
Bone mass is also important for supporting your facial tissues (helping prevent sagging and wrinkling). It is also necessary for maintaining the shape of your jawline. Additionally, the thinner a bone becomes, the more likely it is to fracture. Even if there isn't a tooth to support, the bone has important reasons to stay in good shape, but it just doesn't care. It feels unimportant and unwanted, so it won't take care of itself. You can try all day long to talk sense into a bone, but it won't listen. The only solution is to give it a tooth to support, via a dental implant.
Bone preservation is just one of several reasons implants are considered the gold standard for tooth replacement. If you are ready to discover the many benefits for yourself, call Big Smile Dental in Chicago at and schedule an appointment.