How Dental Implants Can Prevent A ‘Melting Face.’

Posted on Apr 02, 2018 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

The aging process isn’t necessarily kind to our appearance. Hair color and texture changes. Age spots creep up. Hair grows where it didn’t used to or thins out in unwanted spots. The skin wrinkles and sags.

While aging gracefully is something we should strive for, it doesn’t mean we’re necessarily thrilled with these changes. Eating a healthy diet and staying active is certainly a good way to stay in shape and retain a more youthful ‘zest’ for life.

While that can help to keep some of the years at bay, some changes caused by the aging process can be avoided, such as wearing sunscreen to avoid age spots. Others can be avoided or halted, including a ‘melting face.’  What is a melting face?

This describes changes to facial appearance when the bone structures that give our face its shape start to shrink. This is caused by the absence of tooth roots from the jaw bone. The stimulation normally provided to the jaw bone from tooth roots no longer exists when natural teeth are removed. This causes the bone to shrink, or ‘resorb.’

Healthy Jaw Bone Vs Bone Loss From Missing Teeth

As the bone mass declines in height and thins out, changes in facial appearance slowly evolve. For example, as the jaw bone thins, deep wrinkles form around the mouth. Eventually, the corners of the mouth will turn down even in a smile. Jowls form on each side of the face as facial muscles detach from the shrinking bone structure.

As the jaw bone continues to shrink, the chin becomes more pointed and the nose seems to get closer to it. This leads to a collapsed mouth that is known as a ‘granny look.’ This look ages the appearance of an individual far beyond their actual years.

Among the many benefits of dental implants, they also provide stimulation to the jaw bone. This helps to halt the process of bone loss. For those who have already lost a great deal of bone loss, bone rebuilding procedures can be performed to restore a healthy, more youthful face shape.

As a periodontist, my dental specialty includes the diagnosis and placement of dental implants. Dental implants are the closest thing to natural teeth, in many ways.

Dental implants restore the ability to bite and chew comfortably and without worry. Because implants are placed in the jaw bone, this provides the same dependable foundation as you once enjoyed with natural teeth.

Unlike a denture, partial or crown-&-bridge combination, dental implants recreate the stimulation to the jaw bone it needs in order to maintain a healthy mass. People are often surprised to learn that the pressure from wearing a denture or partial actually contributes to the rate of bone loss. For those who sleep in their denture, the accelerates the pace even further.

Some things about the aging process are pretty hard to prevent. Others are totally preventable. With the help of dental implants, the shape of your face and the strength of your jaw bone can be preserved even after tooth loss.

Call 828-274-9440 to schedule a consultation to discuss the dental implant system that is best for your needs as well as the process.


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