Gum disease: Am I still a candidate for dental implants?
More and more patients are choosing dental implants in Chicago to replace their missing teeth, but some patients may worry that the implants will fail without knowing that they actually have the highest success rate of any medical procedure – 98% and higher. In particular, patients who have a history of gum disease often wonder if that issue will prevent them from getting the implants that are the centerpiece of a spruced-up smile.
Those patients do have cause for some concern. Untreated gum disease causes a host of problems both systemically as well as in the mouth. The condition results from chronic infection, which can also potentially compromise the implant, especially in the months immediately following the surgery.
Beyond the infection, untreated gum disease can lead to bone loss, which may have prompted a tooth’s extraction in the first place. A patient considering dental implants must have sufficient bone structure for the implant to “take” or integrate with the bone.
Fortunately, most people considering implants will still qualify for the procedure even if they have periodontal disease, as long as that disease is being treated successfully. However, it may be necessary to delay the dental implant placement until the periodontal disease is under control. As long as there is no active infection in the mouth, patients shouldn’t have problems with their implants.
Even if you’ve suffered from advanced periodontal disease with accompanying significant bone loss, you should be able to get dental implants if you have that bone augmented with a bone graft first. A bone graft involves bone obtained from a bone bank, or bone taken from elsewhere in your body, such as the hip, chin, or wisdom tooth area, being placed in the jaw to supplement the available bone in the implant’s vicinity.
Regardless of your past experiences with gum disease, it’s essential to take steps to prevent a recurrence of the condition to ensure that your implant surgery is a successful one. If you plan on receiving dental implants, be sure to tell Dr. Steven A. Koos, a dual-degreed oral surgeon in Chicago, about your history of periodontal disease. Dr. Koos can ensure the success of your implants and recommend a home care routine designed to extend the life of your implants.