Facial collapse is a condition caused by jawbone deterioration. When the jawbone degenerates due to bone resorption, the facial muscles pull back from their original position. The condition occurs in patients with missing teeth and is also a problem for people with conventional dentures. Removable dentures encourage bone resorption, while another prosthetic option, dental implant-retained dentures, can protect against facial collapse.
Bone Reabsorption and Dental Implants
Bone resorption occurs after a tooth is extracted because the bone no longer serves a purpose. Once a tooth root is missing, the bone around the tooth will begin to deteriorate. This process is relatively fast if teeth are missing in the front of the mouth because the bone is thin. People often replace missing front teeth with a bridge. A bridge simply covers the gap left by a missing tooth and does not actually replace the root of the tooth. This causes aesthetic issues as the bone reabsorbs and the gums collapse, causing the false tooth to look less natural. A dental implant actually replaces the root of a missing tooth and prevents bone resorption, thus preserving the natural aesthetic of your chosen prosthetic restoration.
In cases where multiple teeth are missing, bone resorption can cause serious issues with tooth and jaw alignment. When all of the teeth in the back of the mouth are missing, bone resorption will lead the remaining gum tissue to collapse. The front teeth will flare out as a result and the corners of the mouth will droop. This changes facial appearance dramatically. Some prefer to replace their back teeth with a partial denture. This actually encourages bone resorption because of the pressure exerted on the gums while you chew. Facial collapse occurs when all of a patient’s teeth are missing. The jaw deteriorates rapidly, muscles pull back from their original position, the lips sag due to lack of support, and wrinkles increase. Replacing the missing teeth with removable dentures only encourages facial collapse. Dental implants prevent both of these conditions by eliminating bone resorption and maintaining the facial structure.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fondriest to discuss bone reabsorption and facial collapse, please call our Lake Forest dental office at (847) 234-0517. We serve the Chicago, Illinois area.