Facial Collapse

Photo of woman with facial collapse.Facial collapse is a condition caused by deterioration of a person’s facial bone structure, usually in the jaw. It is most often caused by a large number of missing teeth, but some patients have suffered facial collapse even though they have not lost their teeth.

Causes of Facial Collapse

In most cases, facial collapse occurs after a patient, who has lost a significant number of his or her natural teeth, loses bone mass in the jaw. When teeth are lost or extracted and there is no remaining tooth root in the jawbone, the body senses that bone is not needed to support a tooth at that point. When this happens, the body naturally begins to resorb the essential minerals from the bone for use elsewhere in the body. As this happens, the bone deteriorates and shrinks. Eventually, it cannot support dental appliances, such as dentures, and even the muscles and skin of the face itself.

Prevent Facial Collapse

The best way to prevent facial collapse, of course, is to maintain good dental hygiene and preserve your natural teeth.

The second best option, in our opinion, is to have dental implants placed at the site of missing teeth to help preserve the bone. Because dental implants are implanted into and bond with the bony tissue of the jaw, they signal to the body that a tooth is still there and the bone is still needed.

Treating Facial Collapse

Flower Mound dentist Dr. Hal Stewart has years of experience treating different degrees of facial collapse. He can recommend a range of options for stopping continued deterioration of the bone structure. He also works closely with an oral surgeon experienced in treating cases of facial collapse who can help restore the portions of the bone that have been lost.

In many cases, bone grafts can enable even patients with significant facial collapse to undergo dental restorations that will give them back a healthy chewing system and smile.