2 Things Osteoporosis Patients Need To Know About Dental Implants

Posted on: 27 March 2017

One of the most worrisome things about losing teeth is the fact that missing teeth can lead to bone loss in your jaw. That's even more of a problem if you already suffer from osteoporosis, a condition that can cause bone loss. Dental implants are a great tooth replacement option because they can stimulate the jawbone, which helps prevent bone loss and encourages new bone growth. But what if you have osteoporosis and have already lost bone mass? Can your jawbone support dental implants? Take a look at what osteoporosis patients should know about dental implants.

Can Your Jaw Support Your Implants?

In order to have replacement teeth implanted successfully, your jaw bone has to be able to support them. The concern in patients with bone loss is that the jaw bone may be too thin to support the new implant, and in the past, some patients may not have been able to receive dental implants because of bone loss.

However, thanks to the constantly-improving implant technology and equipment, patients with bone loss, including patients with osteoporosis, can usually still get implants. Your dentist will choose implants in a size and shape that your jaw can support. If you've lost too much bone, you may need a bone graft to build up the area where the replacement tooth will be implanted. With the help of high-tech dental imaging equipment, your dentist can evaluate the density of your jawbone and then decide on the best strategies to ensure a successful implant surgery.

Will Your Medication Interfere?

In addition to bone loss, osteoporosis patients have another factor to worry about – their medication. Osteoporosis patients are often prescribed medications from a class of drugs called bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates help slow the progression of bone loss, allowing you to keep your bones healthier for longer. Unfortunately, they also change the way that your bones heal. This can lead to problems in the recovery phase of dental implant surgery.

The use of bisphosphonates doesn't rule out implant surgery, however. It's very common for patients taking oral bisphosphonates to have successful dental implant outcomes. One survey of 468 implants in 115 patients taking bisphosphonates found that all but two dental implants integrated successfully. However, you can expect that your dentist will want to take extra precautions if you're taking bisphosphonates, and you may need additional check-ups to monitor for side effects.

Your best bet is to make sure that you brief your dentist fully on your medical condition and any treatments or medications that you're taking. Osteoporosis doesn't need to prevent you from getting dental implants, but your dentist needs all the information so that they can make a treatment plan that will work best for you. To learn more, contact a company like Summit Oral Surgery.