Learning to Take Better Care of Your Family's Teeth

4 Things You Need To Know About Osteoporosis And Dental Implants

Tooth loss is a very common problem in America: 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, while 35 million are missing all of their teeth. Dentists have developed many different techniques for replacing these teeth, such as dental implants. Some health conditions, like osteoporosis, can have an affect on these replacements. Here's what you need to know about osteoporosis and dental implants. 

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are a restoration used to replace missing teeth. Dentists consider them the best way to replace missing teeth since they replace not only the look but also the function and feel of your real teeth.

Dental implants are supported by a metal post that is surgically implanted in your jawbone. This metal post is held in place tightly by your bone tissue, which makes dental implants very secure. 

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a serious bone disease that affects about 10 million people. People with osteoporosis lose bone mass faster than their bodies can make new bone, which leaves them with weak, porous bones. If you have osteoporosis, you may already know that you have an increased risk of fractures in your hips or spine, but bones elsewhere in your body are also affected.

What does osteoporosis have to do with dental implants?

Since dental implants are embedded in your jawbone, the size and strength of your jawbone is very important. Dental implants need to have at least 1 mm of jawbone tissue surrounding them, though if the implants are placed beside another tooth or another implant, you will need as much as 3 mm of tissue on all sides.

Your dentist will need to take x-rays to make sure that your jawbone is large enough and strong enough to support the implants. If your jawbone has shrunken too much, it won't be able to support dental implants, and you may need to get bone grafts. If you need bone grafts, your dentist will take bone from other parts of your body and attach this bone to your jaw to strengthen it. 

How successful are dental implants?

As long as your jawbone tissue is sufficient, you should be able to get dental implants successfully. Many studies have been done on this subject, and they have found that nearly 11% of dental implants fail in people with osteoporosis. This is similar to the failure rate in people without osteoporosis.

If you have osteoporosis and missing teeth, you may be able to get dental implants. Make an appointment with your dentist to find out if you're a good candidate for the procedure.