Osteoporosis and all other forms of thinning bones can be disconcerting, especially if the problem runs in your family. If you're doing everything you can to maintain strong bones but you have missing teeth, you're missing a step in caring for your bones. Here's how missing a tooth hurts your bones and what you can do to make them strong again.

Tooth Loss = Bone Loss

When you lose a tooth, you don't just lose the part that you can see. Everything beneath the tooth also comes out or dies where it sits and becomes non-functioning. This means that the root of the tooth is no longer extending from the top of your gums all the way down into the bone of your jaw.

When your teeth are healthy and that root is intact, your bones stay strong. This is because bone cells generate more cells if they're put under pressure. When you bite down, pressure is transferred from the top of your tooth all the way down into the jaw. This is why your jaw stays strong while you have teeth but weakens and can become brittle if you've lost one or more teeth.

How Implants Help

Dental implants are a lot like real teeth except that they're made out of synthetic materials like titanium and porcelain. What matters here is how they work: they have a strong titanium post that extends from a porcelain crown all the way down into your jaw. Sound familiar? It should, because the way implants work is identical to how real teeth work.

Once your implant is fully set up and healed, it will transfer pressure to your jaw just like your real tooth did. If you've already lost some bone mass, the pressure will eventually help your jaw to regain its density. If you haven't lost any yet, it'll keep it from happening.

Getting Dental Implants

Getting dental implants is a simple enough process. You will need to visit your dentist's office multiple times: once for the exam and setup, once for the titanium post to be put in, and finally to have your permanent porcelain crown put on top.

Depending on your own personal dental needs, you may need more than one implant if other teeth nearby are failing. Alternatively, your dentist may use one titanium peg for multiple crowns. It all depends on your needs and health.

Getting dental implants can be a big step towards a healthier, happier jaw and strong, healthy teeth. If you're tired of having a missing tooth or are worried about your bones getting weaker, don't neglect your jaw. Talk to a dentist such as George Kourakin about dental implants right away.