What gives dental implants their great advantages–no special cleaning, no slipping, and the ability to eat a full range of foods–is that they are anchored in your jaw bone like your natural teeth. But what if you have a bone disease? Can you still get dental implants?
The answer is yes, but you have to be aware of special risks and considerations.
Osteoporosis is when your bones lose density. This naturally happens with age as the bone’s natural healing processes change, causing your body to remove more bone than it places. It can be worsened by diet, lifestyle factors, and genetics.
The risk associated with osteoporosis is that your jawbones may lack sufficient density to support a dental implant. Proper imaging can help us understand the density of your bone so that we can plan whether we might need alternative strategies to overcome the risk. We may use different size or shape implants to ensure that your implants have enough contact with bone to support them.
The most common treatment for osteoporosis–bisphosphonates–also carries some risk. Bisphosphonates alter the way your bones heal, so there is a risk of poor healing and adverse side effects if you’re taking bisphosphonates.
With proper management, people with osteoporosis can have success with dental implants. And despite concerns, people who are taking bisphosphonates also have a high success rate for dental implants.
In brittle bone disease, the problem is that your bones are being made without adequate cartilage, which helps to bind and toughen the hard mineral in your bones. This means that your bones have adequate strength, but they are brittle, like glass.
Although people with the brittle bone disease often lose their teeth early, dental implants have rarely been tried. Normally, bone grafts are used to try to help support dental implants.
Even that may not be necessary, according to a recent case study. In this procedure, performed in Spain, a person with the brittle bone disease was able to get dental implants without a bone graft. After four months, the dental implants were topped with dental crowns, and the procedure seems to have been successful.
Paget’s disease is when your body isn’t placing full-density bones. Instead, it is making bone material that has an excess of blood vessels and soft tissue, which means the bones may not be adequate for supporting dental implants.
There are many challenges in making the procedure work for people with Paget’s disease. It may be impossible to know the actual state of bone before surgery. However, success can be achieved even if the bones are soft, with splinting and other care management techniques.
Most people are candidates for dental implants. To learn whether you are a candidate, please call Nicolas A. Ravon, DDS, MSD in Beverly Hills at (310) 275-5325.