Many patients who have lost teeth due to extensive decay or uncontrolled periodontal disease want reassurances that the outcome won’t be repeated with the replacement tooth treatment method that they choose.
Dental implants are particularly attractive to patients concerned about further tooth loss because implants are made of titanium, which is not a biological substance subjected to attack by oral bacteria. Similarly, the prosthetic crown supported by the implant is also made of artificial materials that will not develop decay over time.
Although dental implants aren’t directly subjected to damage from oral bacteria, it can still be susceptible to the negative effects of gum disease. When gum disease progresses to the point at which it begins to compromise the quality of the underlying jawbone, that bone structure may no longer be sufficient to support the dental implant.
The quality of the bond formed by the bone with the implant’s surface is essential to a dental implant’s long-term stability.
Therefore, if any gum disease is present, a periodontist should successfully treat that condition before moving on to dental implant placement. This may create a longer treatment timeline for the patient, but ultimately it’s worthwhile to wait for a decreased risk of negative outcomes.
Furthermore, patients who have a history of gum disease should be diligent in their oral hygiene routines to reduce their risk of a relapse that could threaten the durability and longevity of their dental implants. Be sure to brush and floss as directed by your periodontist to limit the presence of oral bacteria that can attack the gums and underlying bone.
Dental implants require a significant investment of patients’ time and resources, so patients who receive these devices will do well to protect that investment to minimize the presence of oral bacteria that could potentially lead to implant failure. As part of your dental implant treatment planning process, be sure to ask your periodontist about proper care for your dental implants to reduce that risk.