According to countless dental professionals, implants are the best way to replace missing teeth. They are strong, they look great, and in many cases, they last for a patient’s entire lifetime. But since implants get inserted into the jawbone, many women with osteoporosis wonder if they’re candidates for the procedure. After all, adequate bone density is an important factor in whether the new teeth will be able to properly bond with the body. Your implant dentist in Marietta, OH is here to talk about this quandary.
Dental Implants and Osteoporosis
Hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer from osteoporosis, most of whom are women who have already gone through menopause. This devastating disease slows down the body’s ability to replace bone tissue as it gets broken down by natural processes. As a result, the skeletal structure gradually becomes weaker and weaker. The condition even affects the jawbone, which is why some medical experts do not think that women with osteoporosis should receive dental implants. Fragile bones could lessen the chances that the new teeth will thrive.
However, thanks to recent research on the subject, opinions toward whether osteoporosis patients should receive implants are changing. A small study examined 24 women who were missing the majority of their teeth. Half of the women had osteoporosis and were using biophosphonates (a type of drug often prescribed to address the disease). The other half of the group had healthy bones.
All 24 of the women had their remaining teeth removed and soon thereafter received dental implants. The results? The implants were successful in everyone, even the women with osteoporosis.
A Bright Outlook for Osteoporosis Patients
One of the most remarkable things about the study has to do with biophosphonates. While these drugs are often effective at treating osteoporosis, they lead to bone death in rare cases. They do so by stopping the blood flow to weakened bones.
None of the women in the implant study became victims of this troubling complication. The researchers even postulate that implants could actually prevent the jawbone from dying. They might do so because they bond with the body, acting like tooth roots. They thereby encourage blood to flow to the area.
As for the problem of bone loss, dental implants may be beneficial to osteoporosis patients because they help to fortify the jaw. In many cases, they actually prevent the significant bone loss that often accompanies missing teeth.
So, Can Anyone with Osteoporosis Get Dental Implants?
What is the bottom line that we can gather from the research into osteoporosis and dental implant patients? Even if your bones are not in ideal shape, you shouldn’t hold back from talking to your implant dentist in Marietta, OH about getting your teeth replaced. It is possible that, despite your existing health problems, you could enjoy all of the benefits of dental implants.
About the Dentist
Dr. Jeff Lee is your experienced, friendly oral surgeon in Marietta. If you have missing teeth, he would be pleased to talk with you about your options for replacing them — even if you have osteoporosis. Please contact our office at 740-236-9392.