Bone needs stimulation to retain its form and its density. In the case of the bone that surrounds your teeth, the necessary stimulation comes from the teeth themselves. Your normal everyday activity of eating and chewing food provides all the stimulation needed to preserve healthy bone. However, when you lose teeth, the bone no longer is being stimulated, and this leads to “bone loss”. Depending on how severe your bone loss is, you may require a bone graft before the implant can actually be placed into your jawbone.
NOTE: The rate of bone loss can be rather dramatic. There is a 25% decrease in width of bone during the first year after tooth loss and an overall decrease in height over the next few years.
Grafting bone into the extraction sockets at the time of tooth loss or removal can help preserve bone volume needed for implant placement. Surgical techniques are also available to regenerate (regrow) bone that has been lost, to provide the necessary bone substance for anchoring implants. In fact, a primary reason to consider dental implants to replace missing teeth is the maintenance of jawbone.
Bone needs stimulation to stay healthy. Because dental implants fuse to the bone, they stabilize it and prevent further bone loss. Only dental implants can stop this process and preserve the bone.