Facial collapse describes a condition where the structures surrounding and supporting your smile seem to collapse, typically due to jawbone deterioration. The issue is often seen in older patients who’ve lost most or all of their teeth, especially after removing their partial or full dentures. Though the visual effects of facial collapse may take years to become apparent, the process that causes it begins immediately after losing one or more teeth. Rochester dentist, Dr. Gilly Calcagno, often recommends replacing lost teeth with an appropriate number of dental implants to prevent jawbone deterioration and eventual facial collapse. The prosthetic teeth roots can also significantly improve the look, feel, and function of your replacement teeth by mimicking the support of natural, healthy teeth.
What is Jawbone Deterioration?
For the most part, the effects of missing teeth are fairly obvious, leaving gaps that can be seen whenever you speak or smile. Nevertheless, an inconsistent smile isn’t the only consequence of tooth loss. When teeth’s roots are lost, the jawbone’s cells resorb the area of bone that once that surrounded the roots, distributing its minerals to other areas of the body. Without the stimulation of the tooth root, the jawbone also receives fewer minerals and nutrients, and can slowly deteriorate from the deficiency. As time passes, the effects of jawbone deterioration can become obvious, and may lead to the loss of more teeth as the jaw becomes too weak to support them.
How Dental Implants Can Stem Facial Collapse
Dental implants are small prosthetic devices that are surgically inserted into a patient’s jawbone in place of lost teeth roots. Made from biocompatible titanium, implants allow your jawbone to fuse to their surfaces as the bone heals, a process called osseointegration. The immediate benefits of dental implants involve unmatched support for your replacement teeth and improved comfort. Supporting a dental crown, bridge, or denture on one or more implants eliminates the need for dental adhesives, hidden clasps, and crowns attached to healthy teeth. Replacing lost teeth’s roots also provides the long-term benefits by restoring stimulation when you bite and chew, helping to preserve your jawbone’s integrity and prevent facial collapse.
About Dr. Calcagno:
Dr. Gilly Calcagno is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the Minnesota Dental Association, and is active in local dental implant study clubs. To schedule a consultation, call Calcagno Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry today at (507) 281-3659.