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Gum Disease: Are dental implants an option?


shutterstock_60007420-Custom-300x200In the past, patients with gum disease have not always been candidates for receiving dental implants. This is because a history of gum disease can threaten the stabilization of dental implants by attacking bone tissue. Fortunately, advancements in bone grafting techniques have expanded the number of people who can enjoy successful dental implantation. Bone grafting can widen and thicken the bone so that it can support a dental implant for decades to come.

How does gum disease affect dental implants?

Uncontrolled and progressive gum disease affects the stability and longevity of an implant because this condition can erode bone density. The infection associated with gum disease can deteriorate the bone surrounding the roots of teeth as well as an implant. Since both the biological roots of teeth and a dental implant depend on bone for their stability, they can become loose and unable to support oral function.

Why is bone mass so important to the stabilization of implants?

Dental implants are used to replace the roots of lost teeth. By functioning as a prosthetic root, they can support restorations like crowns and bridges, which fill in the missing spaces of a smile and restore oral function. Like the natural roots of teeth, dental implants must have enough bone to support and hold them in place. After our oral surgeon embeds a dental implant, patients will enter a recovery phase of treatment. This phase gives the jawbone time to generate new tissue that will ultimately fuse to the implant’s titanium component. If there is inadequate bone, it will not be able to fuse around a dental implant. This is why bone density is so important for a successful implantation.

How do I know if I need bone grafting?

The only way to determine if a patient will require a bone grafting procedure is for our team to perform an examination of the oral cavity that includes taking X-rays. Through diagnostics, we can determine if bone atrophy is present and if so, where bone will need to be thickened with a grafting treatment.

To learn more about your tooth replacement options, call our team at Austin Oral Surgery today.