How Can Dental Implants Help with Gum Diseases and Bone Loss?

Can Dental Implants Help

Periodontitis and gingivitis are types of gum diseases very common among people all over the world. Gingivitis is caused by bacterial infection in the mouth when proper dental care is not observed, and may lead to periodontitis if it goes untreated for long time. Gum disease is one of the major reasons for tooth loss in adults.

The teeth have roots in the bone mass below the gumline. The edges of the gum where the tooth ends and gum begins is called sulcus. Food particles get trapped here which allows plaque and bacteria to grow and infest the gums. When plaque begins to grow below gumline, you will get gingivitis. This will further develop and cause the bone tissue get affected, making the tooth loosen and fall.

What is bone loss?

Bone loss is a condition where your bone becomes less dense causing it to become brittle and break easily. Bones loose density due to many factors, including age, lack of calcium and vitamin D and phosphorus. Bones keep changing throughout the lifespan and the body continue to absorb bones which are old and are not in use and create new bones using the same. As long as there is a balance between old bones re absorbed and new bones created, the bone structure remains healthy. Bone loss occurs when old bone is absorbed back in the body but new bone is not created in enough.

Smoking, diet, alcohol, genes, medical conditions and age are factors that can result in bone loss.

What is a dental implant?

Dental implants are a prosthetic replacement for lost or missing teeth. It is a metal (usually titanium, because it is easily accepted by the body, very rarely rejected) screw that is placed into the jaw bone through surgery and allowed to stay there till it is surrounded by and fixed into the bone with bone tissues. It may take between 3 to 6 months or more, depending on the general health of the patient. The steel screw becomes the new root for replacement of the tooth that can be placed on top of the implant with the help of an abutment. This implant gets totally entrenched in the bone with bone tissue that has grown around it, and acts as a real root, capable of supporting a tooth crown or a bridge to fill the gap of many missing teeth. Because the artificial root is surrounded by the bone tissue, it does all the work that is expected from a natural tooth root. This process is called osseointegration.

Patients who are suffering from gum disease benefit with dental implants not only by getting new replaced teeth but also with getting rid of the gum disease and decay of the gums.

Dental implant and gum disease

Since dental implant is placed into the jawbone, the dentist will have to make sure, there is no bacteria left in the gums, otherwise the implant will not be able to get surrounded by dental bone tissues. The gums will be cleaned and checked many times to make them free of bacteria. This will help the patient to get healthy gums which will support the dental implant. Once the gum disease is out of the way, the implant will become more rooted and allow for crowns to be placed on top so that the patient can get healthy and beautiful smile without the fear of getting gum disease and losing teeth.

The dental implant can remain in place only if the gums are clean and free of bacteria. Due to this reason the patient takes extra care for oral hygiene and follows the dentist’s advice to the T.

Bone loss and Dental Implant

In many cases the surgeon has to support the jaw bone with a graft called alveolar bone graft. A bone from cadaver or synthetic bone is placed in the jaw bone to get a more stable base for the implant. When there is a lot of bone loss due to resorption a different kind of bone graft has to take place. In cases where bone loss has to be corrected, the surgeon will perform onlay bone graft, where the graft will be placed on top of the remaining jaw bone. This procedure is more invasive, and takes about six months to heal. Once the bone graft is completely merged with the existing jawbone, the bone will become strong enough to support the implant. The reinforced bone is now able to allow growth of bone tissue around the implant making it stable and root it to the bone that can support the crown on top of it. Within a few months the implant becomes one with the grafted bone and will behave like a natural root.

The success rate for bone graft in cases where the bone loss was substantial is very high and many people get good results even after bone loss.

The grafting of synthetic or other bone helps the body to initiate new bone development making the dental implant surgery viable.

Be vigilant for recurring gum disease and bone loss

It is vital that the patient takes care of his implant and new crowns with diligence. The strict oral hygiene routine has to be followed consisting of brushing and flossing. If the bone has regrown after bone loss, it is important to look after the diet, and include minerals required for bone mass like calcium phosphorus and vitamin D. Caution with the kind of foods also plays an important role in the success of preventing gum disease and bone loss. Avoiding sugar for teeth health and diabetes is important because diabetes and heart disease complicate dental implant treatment.

The life style changes are also required like smoking and alcohol consumption. Alcohol and smoking affect bone structures and may harm the healing process of the graft and bone tissue growth. Smoking is also detrimental because of risks of cancer of the mouth and gums.

Are You A Suitable Candidate For Dental Implants?

Suitable Candidate For Dental Implants

Dental implants are replacement for real tooth root. They are artificial, but considering all the replacement tooth used today, dental implants are the nearest alternative to the natural tooth root to support an artificial tooth. They are almost like the natural tooth root and allow you to carry out all the activities that you can do with natural teeth.

What does dental implant surgery involve?

Dental implant surgery procedure involves inserting a metal screwlike post in the jawbone in place of the original roots and leave it there for a few months, so that the bone tissues surround the screw totally and make it immovable on its own. When enough bone tissue grows around the metal screw to hold it still, an abutment is placed on top of the screw which in turn holds the artificial tooth placed on it tightly. This arrangement is strong and usually keeps the tooth working for a long period of time. The screws are made of titanium which fuses with the jawbone tissues and do not corrode or harm in any way.

Who can opt for dental implants?

Dental implants are installed for missing and lost teeth. When you have one or more missing teeth then you can consider going for dental implant surgery, if you fulfil other conditions necessary for getting implants for your teeth.

1. Good General health

Dental implant installation is a surgery, and you need to have a healthy physique, without any serious health conditions. You need to have good growth of bone tissue around implant to complete the installation of crown over the implant. If the growth of bone tissue takes long than it will be a long process.

2. Medications for other ailments

Certain physical conditions and the medicines impede bone healing. Implants need to have growing bone tissue around it for it to set in the bone and take the weight of the crown above it. Some medications do not allow healing and growth of new tissues, in which case dental implants cannot succeed.

3. Mature jawbone

You must be over 18 years and must have fully grown jawbone. If your jawbone is still growing, than it is difficult to support an implant.

4. Healthy bone

You have to have the required amount of bone left on the jaw because after you lose a tooth, the jawbone retreats and after a certain period you will have a considerable amount of bone loss. If bone resorption has occurred, then dental implants cannot work.

5. Healthy oral tissues

For the bone tissue to grow around the metal screw in the jawbone, the tissue should be clean without any ailment. There should not be any bacteria, or malignancy in the tissue.

6. Use of tobacco

You should not use tobacco. Smoking can obstruct the growth of bone tissue and tobacco otherwise is not good for health.

7. Commitment to success

You should be ready to go through the procedure for a few months, and more if it takes long to regrow the bone tissues. Sometimes more months can be required, and you should ben able to wait if you must go that extra mile.

Risks of Dental Implant Surgery

Dental implant surgery does have some risks like any other surgery. Problems do not occur often, but sometimes there can be certain impediments in healing and therefore, it is advisable to see that you do not have conditions that can pose a problem.

1. Sinus cavities.

Our face and mouth have cavities called sinus to protect us from certain conditions which are harmful to us. One of the sinus lies just above the upper jaw. When you have cold, these cavies get filled with fluid and may exert pressure on the jaws. When the implants are being installed the surgeon has to be very careful not to pierce the sinus.

2. Injuries or damage to surrounding structures

The neighbouring teeth and adjoining dental structures may get damaged due to implant surgery. The dentist will have to check for any pain or bleeding due to injury. He has to stop the pain and bleeding before he can resume the surgery.

3. infection at the implant site

The site of the missing tooth must be cleaned before the surgery, but sometimes there is reinfection at the site which is harmful for the dental implant. If there are infection and bacteria, the bone tissue cannot grow around the implant and the screw will not be able to stand firm which in turn cannot support the crown. The dentist will have to clean the area again and wait before resuming the surgery.

4. Nerve damage which can pain tingling and numbness in lips

The nerves which are surrounding the dental structures may get damaged while doing implant insertion. In such a case, there can be numbness in the lips, cheeks and tongue. The can be tingling sensation in the mouth and cheeks. The dentist has to take care of these issues before any work gets done.

Before the dental implant surgery

  • Complete examination of the teeth and mouth.

The dentist will get x rays and images taken and will get the models done of your entire set of teeth and gums.

  • Evaluation of your medical history

The dentist will ask you question and will want to consult your family physician before the decision is taken for the surgery. He will want to know your list of medicine that is prescribed, and your habit of taking over the counter medicine. Tell your dentist about any illnesses in the family, the drugs or supplements that you may be taking and also about any orthopaedic implements in your body. Talk about smoking or drinking habit you may have.

  • Anaesthesia

Discuss the type of anaesthesia you would prefer with your dentist before the surgery takes place. Your dental team will consult you about sedation also. Discuss what you prefer.

5 Top Reasons for Dental Implants Failure.

Reasons for Dental Implants Failure.

Dental implants are metal screws which works as artificial tooth root inserted  in the jawbone, which gets embedded in the bone by bone tissues allowed to grow around it, making it totally in entrenched, which can then support one or more tooth crowns on top of it with the help of tools mounted on the screw.

Usually dental implants work very well if they are given enough time to get surrounded by bone tissues of the gums. But some people do experience dental implant failure. There is very low ratio of dental implant failure with the success rate, but a small number of implants do fail.

Most of the time problems and troubles start to occur soon after the dental procedure around 3 to 4 months, but it may happen many years later also.

Some degree of pain and discomfort is always expected after the surgery since it is an invasive surgery, and it takes a few days to heal. To ease the pain and discomfort your dentist will have prescribed pain relievers and antibiotics to prevent infection from the surgery, and it should help. The pain and discomfort should ease in a week or two. The complete healing will take about 3 to 6 months. There can be many causes for dental implant failure among them infection is the most common.

Top causes of dental implant failure

The top 5 causes of dental implant failure are the following.

Gum disease

Gum disease is an infection in the gums, which can damage the jawbone and gums. It could be a result of bad oral hygiene of smoking. Infection can set in while the procedure is on, or it can develop after the surgery.

The dentist will ascertain clean and healthy gums before he begins the procedure but sometimes infection gets noticed after the procedure. Some patients have the auto immune disease and cannot heal themselves due to the disease. If gum disease was not located or treated before the procedure, it will surround the new implant and infect the nerve tissues that has grown around the implant. When these tissues get infected it dislodges the screw and cause it to come apart from the jaw.

Depleted jawbone

Implants need enough bone to let it stay in place. There are many conditions in which bone density is decreased. Osteoporosis is one reason why bone density decreases, and the bone becomes porous. In such a condition the implant loses support of the bone and gets loosened, which makes the crown sitting on top of the implanted screw can fall off. With advancing age, osteoporosis bones happen due to lack of calcium in the bones. Bone loss also occurs in people with severe gum disease.

Medical complications in the patient

Sometimes the dental surgery has taken place without the knowledge of the medical condition of the patient. Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis auto immune disease are some of the conditions in which the healing process is not completed, or is slowed down. When healing is not done at a desirable rate, the osseointegration does not take palace.  Osseointegration allows the implant to fuse with the jawbone.

The patient may develop certain disease like cancer after the dental implant surgery which brings upon the additional care as the cancer itself and the medication required to control and cure the tumour may interfere with the tissues that have been generated around the implant.

Sometimes the medicines that are prescribed for a specific medical condition is interfered by the medicines prescribed for healing and maintain the tissue growth around the implant. This makes the implants unstable and may lead to failure.

These and other medical conditions require the patient to take certain medicines. It is very important for the dental surgeon to know about the prescriptions that the patient is on. If the patient has not talked about his diseases and medications with the dental team, then the chances of healing will be compromised.

Oversight on the part of the surgeon

Most surgeons are trained in their craft and are well versed in the art of dental implant surgeries. But sometimes, I bad referral may result in going to an inexperienced surgeon who may lead to failure of dental implant because of not studying about the patient’s medical history and their present physical health.

There is a possibility of nerve or tissue damage when the implant is placed too close to a nerve. This condition is signified by tingling sensation in the tongue or gums and lips or even face.

Foreign body rejection can be a reason for failure of implant. It is not very common in dental implants, but it does happen sometimes. When the body rejects the implant, it appears in increased pain at the site of implant, fever and swelling in the gums.

An implant placed in upper jaw may protrude in the sinus cavities above the jaws.

Sometimes during accidents, an injury caused in the jaw may loosen the implant and it may fall off.

Too many crowns placed on a few implants may result in failure because of too much stress and pressure on the implants.

A dental surgeon must work on teeth and surrounding areas of gums and jawbone while performing the surgery.  When a lot of handling is experienced, there is a possibility of trauma in the area. A lot of dental pressure results in dental trauma leading to failure.

Poor oral hygiene

The patient is required to follow a strict plan for good oral hygiene, after the dental implant surgery. Good dental hygiene has a direct impact on the recovery rate of the patient. You need to be fit to complete the strict rules of brushing and flossing after meals or as your dentist has instructed. You also need to follow your dentist’s instructions about choice of food and habits of lifestyle.

If you choose a good dental surgeon and follow their instructions perfectly, then there is very little chance of any complications and your implants will last you a long time.