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Artist: Waldmueller, Ferdinand Georg (1793-1865)
Title: Josefine Ernst, (born Stoeger, 1757-1862), 1856

Found during one of Henry’s travels:
A painting in the Leopold Museum in Vienna demonstrates the effects of facial collapse.

Facial collapse is a condition that occurs when a person has lost their teeth and his or her body starts to absorb the bone that once supported those teeth. It happens over a period of about 10 years as the bone in the jaw shrinks substantially.A person who suffers from facial collapse has a significantly altered appearance and looks much older than he or she actually is. In addition to the physical toll facial collapse takes on a person, it negatively impacts health.

How does facial collapse occur?

Bones need proper chewing forces to maintain their form and density. The compressive and tensile forces teeth exert on the surrounding bone stimulates the growth and density of the jawbone . When a tooth is lost, the lack of stimulation to its supporting bone will thus cause a decrease in bone volume and integrity. According to credible research, 25% of bone loss occurs during the first year after tooth loss and continues, sometime to the point of fracture.

A tooth is necessary for the development of facial bone, and stimulation of this bone by chewing forces is vital for maintaining its structure. This phenomenon has been ignored in the past and is currently being ignored by traditional dentistry. Dentists most often overlook facial bone loss that occurs after tooth extraction. The general public is often not educated about the anatomic, aesthetic, and functional consequences of continued bone loss. In actual fact, the bone loss often accelerated if the patient wears removable dentures.

Just as the body can absorb bone, the good news is that it can also rebuild.When teeth or dental implants are present in the jaw, a stimulus is sent to the bone that keeps it from dissolving away. This is called the piezoelectric effect, and it is one of the most important reasons for restoring missing teeth with dental implants.

If you’re missing all your teeth, it will be worthwhile in consider investing in dental implants. Placing eight dental implants in each jaw is optimal in preserving your bone. If that doesn’t fit your budget, then the more dental implants you can afford to have placed, the better.

To find out more in detail contact us for our free publication “Dental Implant Reference” where it addresses everything about dental implants.