Bone loss after tooth loss…

Posted on 28th March 2021

For most of our patients, the main reason for their tooth loss is chronic periodontal disease. Periodontal disease results in the gradual loss of bone support for teeth. This can eventually lead to the teeth becoming ‘weaker’ and mobile.

Another cause of a more rapid form of bone loss is tooth loss or dental infections. Following tooth loss, the bone and gums in that area of the mouth begin to shrink very quickly. In some patients this can happen within weeks of having the tooth removed. Dental abscesses also lead to bone loss and generally, long standing infections cause the greatest amount of bone destruction. For this reason, we recommend that patient’s have the tooth removed with a plan in place to have the replacement tooth fitted because delaying the treatment to have a dental implant following tooth removal can lead to bone loss which is avoidable.

When we are planning to replace the missing teeth with dental implants, we should consider how we can improve the structure of the bone in the mouth at the same time. In most cases this is necessary to somewhat ‘reverse’ the bone loss caused by the periodontal disease (or tooth loss) affecting the preceding teeth. By rebuilding the bone and gum structure, the implants will have a much higher long term success rate and the treatment outcomes are significantly improved.

Infinity Dental Clinic
This top image shows the loss of horizontal bone width seen after only 3 months following the removal of the infected UL1 incisor. The image below shows the ‘dip’ seen in the gum contours around the missing tooth region which creates a more concave appearance. This lead to gum shrinkage and collapse of facial support.
This same patient underwent treatment to replace the UL1 with a fixed dental implant. During this treatment, we restore the bone and gum volume to ensure that the replacement tooth had the strongest foundations for long term support and health. This also makes the tooth look as natural as the patient’s own adjacent teeth.

2 of the main contributing factors to periodontal disease are poor plaque control and smoking. This results in the gradual progression of bone loss around teeth. Periodontal disease can also affect the bone around dental implants therefore, we provide our patients with the tools and techniques they require to manage their dental hygiene thoroughly at home with ease. Studies have shown that visiting the hygienist regularly and maintaining excellent oral hygiene on a daily basis will stabilise periodontal disease and prevent it from affecting any more of the mouth.

Our patients have shown significant improvements in the health of their gums and teeth as a result of the periodontal care they continue to receive and also compliment themselves using their daily techniques. A combination of team work between our dental team and the patient themselves can stabilise dental disease and provide us with beautiful results like those shown in the radiographic images below:

The dark spaces around the teeth show the vast amounts of bone loss in these areas. These patients were provided with a treatment to combine the regeneration of the missing bone volume and dental implants to replace the loose and failing teeth. By maintaining their future periodontal health we have a much better prognosis for both the success of their dental implants and also the long term health of the other teeth in their mouth.

Feel free to email the clinic if you have any queries.

Thank you for reading.

Mohsin Patel BDS MJDF RCS (Eng)

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