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Dental Implants and Osseointegration
Here at Clackamas Implant & Oral Surgery Center in Clackamas, OR we believe that all of our patients should know and understand what the consequences of tooth loss are. Some of the consequences are easy to see and feel – missing a tooth can make it hard to eat and can significantly change the appearance of your smile. There are lots of consequences of tooth loss that you might not consider until you have experienced them first hand. Bone loss in the jaw and further tooth loss are a common symptom of tooth loss. Fortunately, we can restore your smile to it’s original beauty and function with the help of dental implants and osseointegration.
What is osseointegration?
Osseointegration describes the healing process that takes place around a foreign object that is inserted in the body. Most foreign substances are rejected by the body, consider splinters, for example. When you receive a splinter the skin around the site will become red and swollen, sometimes itchy. The site might even become infected, and pus will form in an attempt to break down or force out the foreign wood material from the body. Osseointegration occurs when the body doesn’t try to reject the foreign substance, instead of accepting it and growing around it.
Bone Loss Following Tooth Loss
Tooth loss often leads to bone loss in the jaw, which can lead to further tooth loss and a deterioration of overall oral health. However, why is it that bone loss is a symptom of tooth loss, and how does it lead to further tooth loss?
Just like any other part of your body, the bone in your jaw needs a certain amount of use, or stimulus to stay healthy. If it loses that stimulus, it will begin to recede over time. The bone in your jaw relies on the roots of your teeth for its regular stimulus. When a tooth is lost, the jaw loses the stimulation that it relies on to keep it healthy. As the bone recedes, it will begin to affect teeth that are neighboring where the lost tooth once was. Because teeth rely on the jaw bone for their support, bone loss can easily lead to further tooth loss.
What role does titanium play?
Titanium plays a critical role in the medical and dental fields because it is one of the very few materials that the body accepts and osseointegrates with. When a material is readily accepted into the body, we call it biocompatible. Titanium is the most common implant material for bone an teeth replacements because the bones in our body can heal around it. Most of the dental implant posts, which are the part of dental implants that are surgically inserted into the jaw bone, are made of titanium. We place the implant posts into the bone in the jaw and give them time to heal. During the healing process, the bone in the jaw grows around the implant posts and forms a strong mechanical bond with the foundation for your future dental implants.