What are dental implants

Bone Loss Due to Gum Disease

Bone in the jaw can be lost while there are still teeth in the mouth due to Periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic (ongoing) infection that slowly melts the bone around the teeth. This process continues, and the teeth may become mobile, or if there is insufficient bone to hold the tooth in the mouth, the tooth or teeth may eventually fall out.

bone loss do to gum disease

This video shows how the gums typically recede, and make the teeth look "long".

bone loss do to gum disease

Sometimes the bone loss is under the gums and there is no evidence of the bone loss through inflammation or recession. Clinically the teeth and gums may look the same as with no bone loss. It is therefore important to take X-rays to make the proper diagnosis of the periodontal condition of teeth.

It is important to "professionally clean" the teeth to prevent this process.

Vertical Bone Loss - Periodental Bone Loss

The more bone loss before tooth loss, the less bone will be available for implant placement

dental implant single tooth bone loss

Standard size implant placement at different bone levels

bone loss and dental implant at different bone levels

As can be seen in this graphic as the bone atrophies (shrinks) the area becomes less and less ideal for implant placement.

Tooth extraction for Bone Preservation:

dental implant single tooth bone loss

Sometimes when there is severe bone loss  and the periodontal disease cannot be managed, it's better to remove the teeth. This stops bone loss, and preserves it for implant treatment, as opposed to waiting until the teeth are very loose or fall out. Different levels of bone will present different challenges to tooth replacement with dental implants.