More than 40 million people in the United States either already have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass. Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones so what should this have to do with replacing missing teeth?
The Role of Bone Density in Implant Dentistry
If you are interested in dental implants, your bone density comes into significant consideration when determining your candidacy. Dental implants require adequate jawbone strength, density and volume in order to support the implant. This is what makes dental implants such a superior choice in tooth replacement. A titanium screw is surgically implanted into the jawbone to act as an artificial tooth root, giving patients the most natural, durable and long-lasting option in restorative dentistry.
Are You at Risk?
Osteoporosis can occur in both men and women and at any age, but it is most common in older women. This condition is marked by a decline in bone density and it can subsequently increase your risk for fracture. The hip, wrist and spine are the most common areas of bone weakness and injury.
Will Your Osteoporosis Stand in the Way of Dental Implants?
If you suffer from osteoporosis, you may be wondering if dental implants are still an option to replace your missing teeth. The answer needs to be determined by your implant dentist. While osteoporosis patients are certainly not excluded from getting dental implants, your dentist needs to carefully evaluate your disease to ensure your dental implants will be successful. Here are some questions your dentist may consider when determining your candidacy:
Is your osteoporosis under control? Patients need to be under the routine care of their physician, following an instructed diet and exercise plan as well as taking the proper medications to manage their bone disease.
What is the state of your oral health? A primary factor in the failure of dental implants is the presence of gum disease. Since the success rate of your dental implant surgery is already slightly compromised with osteoporosis, you will need a completely clean bill of oral health and one that is free of periodontal disease.
What is the condition of your jawbone? Dental implants require good quality strength, density and volume in the jawbone to sustain healing and give you the long-lasting results you desire.
What medications are you taking? Your medications, both for osteoporosis and other conditions, are very important when considering dental implants. For example, Bisphosphanates can keep the body from reabsorbing bone tissue, but they can also affect your ability to heal after a dental implant procedure.
Do you smoke? Smoking largely contributes to bone loss and dental failure. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means that blood supply to the bones in the jaw is inadequate.
Do you have a systemic disease? Your dentist will consider the presence of diabetes or other disorder that can compromise your immune system and affect healing.
Although it may seem like a strict test to pass, many osteoporosis patients still find themselves eligible and have excellent results with dental implants. According to recent research (International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants, Vol 21: 349), there is a lowered success rate in patients with osteoporosis but the difference was less than 2%. The general success rate for dental implants is about 97% whereas the success rate in this limited study was 95%.
If osteoporosis has already taken too much of your jawbone, you still have a way to get dental implants. Patients can receive bone grafting to build up lost bone and support successful dental implants. It is important, however, that you have your osteoporosis under control going forward.
Contact a Skilled Implant Dentist in Marietta
Ready to learn your candidacy for implant dentistry? If you’ve lost your natural teeth, dental implants are the closest replica you’ll find in restorative dentistry. Implants can help you chew, laugh and speak with valued confidence, but they do demand a strong and healthy jawbone as their foundation for success.
At Grateful Dental, we proudly serve the Marietta community with excellence in implant dentistry. We also have a keen understanding of the conditions required for optimal results in this type of teeth replacement. Call today to learn if you qualify for dental implants, despite your struggles with osteoporosis.