What does your osteoporosis have to do with replacing your missing teeth? Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone that leads to decreased density of bone and subsequent increase in risk of fracture. If you have missing teeth and are considering the gold standard replacement option of dental implants, you have to take your bone volume into account. Dental implants require that patients are in overall good health and that they have enough bone volume and density in the jaw to support dental implants successfully. Before you count yourself out of getting dental implants because you have osteoporosis, talk to your dental implants dentist first. You may have bones that are weak in other parts of your body but adequate jawbone volume. In addition, you may be a candidate for bone grafting, a very common and predictable procedure that is performed in many dental implants cases.
Your implant dentist will first want to make sure your osteoporosis is under control, which includes proper medication, diet and exercise. As previously mentioned, it is important that you are also in good overall health as well to ensure your dental implants have the best chance of healing successfully. Your oral health is a major factor in determining your candidacy of dental implants. The presence of periodontal disease can contribute greatly to dental implant failure.
As an osteoporosis patient, you can expect your implant dentist to thoroughly evaluate the strength, density and volume of your bone tissue in your jaw. For a dental implant to heal properly and be successful, it must have sufficient volume of bone around it in height, width, and depth to envelope the implant and support the tooth (crown) on top of it. If there is not adequate bone left in your jaw, then your dentist will likely consider bone grafting.
Bone grafting is very common with dental implants and it has been significantly improved over the years. This process now uses processed and sterilized bone from animals (usually cows) to basically trick our body’s biochemically into accepting the graft as our natural bone. The graft can then be absorbed and replaced by the your own native bone over time.
The bottom line is this – don’t let your osteoporosis diagnosis keep you from inquiring about the most revolutionary permanent tooth replacement option available. An experienced and skilled implants dentist, such as Dr. Wayne Suway, can properly evaluate your candidacy and offer the latest bone grafting procedures to help you. Recent research (International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants, Vol 21: 349) has shown 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%. Therefore, you still have a very high chance of success with dental implants as an osteoporosis sufferer.
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