I Have Osteoporosis…Are Dental Implants An Option?
Osteoporosis is a systemic disease of the bones that leads to a decreased density of bone and subsequent increased risk of fracture. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle. Osteoporosis related fractures are most common in the hip, wrist or spine.
Osteoporosis affects millions of people around the globe. It affects both men and women and of all races. Women are four times (4x) more likely to develop osteoporosis as they age. Scientific studies have shown that post-menopausal white women and Asian women are at the highest risk of developing osteoporosis. Medications, healthy diet and weight-bearing exercise can help prevent significant bone loss and strengthen already weak bones. There is recent evidence showing that women who drink wine in moderation tend to have higher bone density than those who abstain from alcohol altogether.
Are Dental Implants An Option For Me?
The first step is to get your osteoporosis under control and limit the further effects of the disease. This includes seeing a physician to prescribe the proper medications, diet, and exercise routine. The next step is to see your implant dentist for a full evaluation. This evaluation will include your overall health, your oral health, as well as the degree of your osteoporosis.
Some considerations before having dental implants placed include:
–Current Condition Of Oral Health. The presence of periodontal disease is a major factor in the failure of dental implants. With a patient already being compromised with osteoporosis this becomes doubly important that the patient be periodontal disease free and maintain healthy teeth and gums.
–Strength, Density, And Volume Of Bones. You need to have some good quality bone left to have an implant last, if not present healing following implant surgery and bone grafting will be longer, so volume of bone is an extremely important determining factor in the success of dental implant placement.
–Medications. This includes medications you are taking for osteoporosis as well as other medications which could counteract those medications. Bisphosphanates have been long known to keep the body from reabsorbing bone tissue, but they also appear to affect your ability to heal after a dental implant procedure. Biphosphonates can increase the risk of biphosphonate-induced osteonecrosis of the jaw (also called BONJ). When BONJ occurs, the bone tissue actually begins to die due to inadequate blood supply.
–Do You Use Tobacco Products? Smoking has long been a factor in whether dental implants are a success or a failure. Nicotine (key ingreient in tobacco) is a vaso constrictor so blood supply to the bones in the jaws can be compromised.
–Presence Of Systemic Disease. This can include a decreased immune system or diabetes. Good, stable health is important for good healing.
If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, all hope is not lost, dental implants may still be an option. If osteoporosis has affected other parts of your body, it might not necessarily have caused decrease in jawbone mass or breakdown of these specific bone tissues. 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%. The scientific study also showed that bone grafting was successful as well.
Dental implants have long been a successful treatment of choice for tooth loss to restore a patient’s smile. For those who have been told it is not a good option the effects can be devastating emotionally as well as physically. The recent scientific studies gives hope to those who previously were told that it was not an option. Each individual needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis taking all factors into account before diving into the placement of a single dental implant or even multiple dental implants. If you are missing teeth or about to lose them, contact your dentist 89052 for a complete dental implant evaluation.