I am 21 years old and I've extracted my lower left second molar about 3 weeks, replaced it with a bridge, and lately I've noticed that the left side of my face looks slightly thinner than the right and my cheekbone is slightly more defined (or I'm just hallucinating). This caused me to do research, and upon all the reading I've done online, this site in particular freegrab.net/Dental%20tooth%2... has me freaking out because I've read "missing teeth cause changes in the jaw bone structure. The bone that supported the missing teeth begins to shrink or thin away. There is a loss of width and height of the jaw bone. The process is referred to as bone resorption. This is a natural process of your body saving bone nutrients and structure it is no longer using. Jaw bone loss happens most rapidly during the first year of tooth loss and is four times greater in the lower jaw than in the upper. When a tooth is lost, the lack of stimulation causes loss of the jaw bone. There is a 25% decrease in width of jaw bone during the first year after tooth loss and an overall 4 millimeters decrease in height over the next few years. Without chewing pressure to stimulate the bone, the jawbone begins to dissolve away immediately after extraction and continues forever unless an IMPLANT is placed. "
I love the shape of my face, my jaw in particular really compliments my features. It's bold and wide, I wouldn't modify it if I got payed. So reading this really has me anxious. I have gotten my temporary bridge today. The reason I got a bridge instead is because the tooth on the left needed a crown anyway, and I read various stories about mental, neurological problems as well as physical developing from tooth implants. It also cost me a thousand dollars less which was convenient. However reading all of this stuff online has me regretting the choice I made
I was thinking of asking my dentist if I could do an implant instead... even though I've already screwed up a perfectly healthy tooth. The one on the right of the missing one.. I read this on the link that I provided "How Implants Stop Bone Loss: Dental implants fused and integrated into the jaw-bone serve as anchors to support teeth. They function the same as natural teeth in that the implant provides pressure stimulus on the opposite side tooth. As you may recall, bone needs stimulation to stay healthy. An implant-supported tooth, or teeth, allow for normal function of the whole jaw including the nerves, muscles and jaw joints. Moreover dental implants fuse to the bone, stabilizing and stimulating it to maintain its dimension and density." Therefore apparently, contrary to what I first believed, a bridge does not stimulate the bone or prevent bone loss, and there is no stimulus on the opposite side tooth.
Help please. What would you do in my situation? And what is the long-term outcome of my decision?