Restoring Bone and Facial Structure

After your teeth are all extracted, the jaws begin to shrink. Your body now considers the bone in the jaws to be useless, and it takes those minerals for use elsewhere. Over a period of ten or twenty years, you will end up with a condition called Facial Collapse.

Photos on this page are courtesy of Dr. Carl E. Misch and are from his textbook, Dental Implant Prosthetics, which is the most widely read dental implant textbook in the world.

Here are a series of models of the lower jaw, showing the progression of bone loss that will occur over the years. The top model shows all the teeth present. Each succeeding model shows more and more bone loss.

Many patients who have had no teeth for maybe twenty years have a jawbone that looks like the lowest model, and find themselves totally uncomfortable and unable to function, because there is no bone left to support a conventional denture.

Consider this. Many of you who are reading this will live well into your 80s or beyond. Do you want to be able to eat normally at that age? Or do you want to be like many of those at that age who keep their teeth in a drawer, who are limited to soft foods, and who have gastric or other health problems because of that? Do you want your long-term quality of life issues to be decided by an insurance company whose primary concern is cutting costs? We will help you no matter how you decide these issues, but we have seen too much misery not to want to bring these long-term consequences to your attention.

If you are presently in a situation where you have little or no bone left, we can still help you. Comfort and function can be restored with implant surgery. View photographs of our implant success stories to see for yourself.

bone-resorptionOn the left is a photograph of two actual lower jawbones, one with all the teeth present, and another that has had the teeth missing for an extended period. A false tooth is propped up on a wire to illustrate how much bone the body has resorbed.

A person with a lower jaw similar to the photograph above on the left would be a dental cripple, unable to wear a conventional denture. This is the sad reality faced by too many patients.

Facial Collapse diagram Dr. Chal, however, restores many of these cases to complete functionality.

Unfortunately, the wearing of dentures unsupported by dental implants accelerates the bone loss.

FacialCollapseDiagramOn the left is a diagram of the facial changes that occur after wearing conventional dentures for years.

Solutions for cases of facial collapse:

  • Advanced Bone graftingWe can build up the lost bony structure to restore jaw function.
  • Denture/Implant Hybrid restoration – This replaces lost bone and gum tissue with dental restorative materials.
  • Precise computerized placement of implants – When the bony foundation is lacking, the prospects of getting a solid, long-lasting result are enhanced by carefully placing the implants in whatever solid areas of bone are remaining. These solid areas are identified with careful radiographic diagnosis, and using advanced implant placement techniques such as those used by Dr. Chal with his advanced Chal-Hatcher Guide that he developed. Similar techniques are used in the teeth-in-an-hour protocol, and with the NobelGuide™ system.

When dental implants are present, they stimulate the bone and keep it from atrophy. This is called the piezoelectric effect. The greater the number of dental implants that are placed, the greater the piezoelectric effect, and the better the protection against facial collapse.

Below are two photographs of patients with facial collapse. Notice the sunken-in upper lip, the shriveled face, and the shortened nose-to-chin distance. Not only would these people look younger, they would feel better and eat better if their mouths were properly restored.

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