It is an unfortunate and unavoidable truth that as we age, our faces start to sag and droop. But there’s a particular kind of sag that happens when people lose their teeth and their jawbone starts to shrink—a sunken jawbone makes a person look a lot older than their actual age. We often see this in people whose teeth have been replaced by dentures. All-on-4 dental implants are an alternative to dentures that help preserve a person’s facial structure.
BONES + YOUR JAWLINE + ALL-ON-4 DENTAL IMPLANTS
Bone density is maintained by a complex biological process called bone remodeling, in which old bone tissue is removed (a process called bone resorption) and new bone tissue is formed by cells called osteoblasts.
Osteoblasts work best when exposed to stimulation and pressure. That’s why the NIH recommends that we get enough weight-bearing exercise—walking, jogging, dancing, and lifting weights—because the pressure that these activities exert on our skeletons helps prompt our osteoblasts into action. The osteoblasts in your jawbone are no exception. Usually they deposit new bone around the root of the tooth, which stimulates the bone whenever you chew or use your teeth.
When you lose your teeth, whether due to trauma or wear, the roots of your teeth no longer stimulate your jaw bone. Believing that your jawbone is no longer useful, your body pulls the calcium from your jaw and sends it to other parts of the body, depriving osteoblasts of their main fuel. Studies show that in the first year after the loss of a tooth, you can lose up to 25% of the width of your jawbone, and 40% within three years. That’s nearly half the width of your jawbone! We’re talking some serious puckered cheeks.
All-on-4 dental implants are a full bridge that replace all of the upper or lower teeth, fixed to the jawbone by four to six titanium screws. Your body reacts to the titanium the same way it would react to the root of a tooth, and starts to deposit new bone tissue around them, immediately halting the deterioration of the jaw bone. This effectively tricks your body into maintaining the surrounding bone and preserving your facial structure, serving as the best new alternative to dentures.
NEW TEETH IN ONE DAY
With regular dental implants, you have to wait up to four months before “loading” them with teeth. But because the All-on-4 dental implants distributes the pressure between four to six implants, you can load them right away. The entire All-on-4 procedure, from tooth extraction to attaching the bridge, can take place in one day. You know what that means… new teeth in one day!
Once these porcelain beauties are in place, they should last a lifetime. All-on-4 dental implants are fixed, so you care for them just like normal teeth.
Looking to get dental implants in NYC?
Upper East Oral and Maxiofacial Surgery is currently offering free All-on-4 consultations at our practice in New York City, including CT scans.
Contact us to book yours!