Am I Still a Candidate For Dental Implants?
Gum disease is a common oral health condition that affects a large percentage of the population . Advanced periodontal (gum) disease can affect the success rate of dental implants – especially if the gum disease is not treated or if the condition has eroded bone or gum tissue. Having healthy bone mass and gum tissue are important for dental implant success. Fortunately, patients with gum disease have treatment options to increase the likelihood of an implant’s success rate and improve damage caused by periodontal disease.
How Does Gum Disease Affect Oral Health?
Gum disease can be especially problematic in its advanced stages. In fact, many patients are surprised to learn that gum disease is actually the leading cause of tooth loss in adulthood. The reason periodontal disease affects oral health is the fact that it separates teeth from their supportive structures (bone mass and gum tissue). When Plaque and tartar buildup accumulate along the gum line, they will infect periodontal tissue and cause gums to recede from teeth. Over time, especially if bone is affected, teeth will become loose because they lack support. Without proper treatment, teeth will eventually fall out. Additionally, research has shown a link between periodontal disease and other health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke.
I’ve Lost a Tooth, are Dental Implants Still an Option with Gum Disease?
In the past, most patients with advanced gum disease were not eligible for receiving dental implants. This was because of lost gum tissue and bone mass caused by periodontal disease. Today, however, patients have more options. Patients with periodontal disease typically require deep prophylaxis to clean away the infection and if tissue loss is present, patients will likely need bone graft and/or gum grafts to reconstruct lost tissue. These procedures, along with a commitment to a meticulous oral hygiene regimen can greatly increase an implant’s success rate.
Stop Gum Disease Before it Threatens Your Current Dental Implant
Teeth-replacing dental implants not only look life-like, they’re made to last. For one thing, the metals and dental materials used in them are impervious to bacterial infection.
But that doesn’t mean implants are impervious to failure. Implants depend on the bone and other natural mouth structures for support. If the bone becomes weakened due to disease, the implant could become unstable and ultimately fail.
What is Peri-Implantitis?
Peri-implantitis, is an inflammation around the dental implant, this condition can lead to failure, and is a major concern for implant longevity. It’s a type of periodontal (gum) disease triggered by plaque, a thin film of bacteria that can build up quickly in the absence of adequate brushing and flossing. The gum tissues around the implant become infected and inflamed and, it could spread below the gum line and begin to damage the underlying gum tissues and bone. This could destroy the all-important connection between the titanium implant post and the bone. The implant could eventually loosen and become completely detached from the bone.
You can help to avoid peri-implantitis altogether by practicing consistent daily brushing and flossing around all your teeth including the implant, and seeing your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups. And by all means see your dentist if you notice any signs of gum swelling, redness or bleeding. Staying on top of your gum health will help not only the natural tissues and remaining teeth in your mouth, it will help preserve your implants for decades to come.
In modern dentistry, if teeth need to be replaced, dental implants are by far the best. There is no tooth-replacement option that will give you a longer-lasting result. Implants also help preserve tooth-supporting bone that naturally deteriorates when a tooth is lost. Loss of bone is one of the major hidden consequences of losing teeth.
Implants have a documented success rate of over 95%, which is significantly higher than any other tooth-replacement option. Having a current gum disease, and receiving a dental implant is not recommended as this will increase the failure rate of your dental implant because of gum infection, which might spread to your dental implant. Thus, gum disease treatment, healthy bone and gum, are prerequisites before any dental implant needs to be placed.
If you have a gum disease, and you are planning to have a dental implant, do not hesitate to book your appointment with Dr. Miski, who is Periodontist ” Gum Specialist”, to see if you are eligible and ready to receive your dental implant.