What To Know If You Have Gum Disease And Want Dental Implants

11 June 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth. They are as durable as natural teeth because they are supported by your jawbone. However, if you have gum disease, getting dental implants may not be so simple. If you have gum disease and want dental implants for your missing teeth, check out these five must-know facts.

Periodontitis Increases the Risk of Tooth Loss

If you have gum disease and are missing teeth, your gum disease is probably the reason for those missing teeth. Severe gum disease or periodontitis increases the risk of tooth loss. One reason for this is that severe gum disease affects your jawbone, causing it to deteriorate. As a result, it isn't strong enough to properly support your teeth, allowing them to become loose. Gum disease also causes your gums to recede. This creates pockets in which plaque and bacteria can hide. It also exposes your unprotected roots to bacteria. Both of these factors increase your chance of serious tooth decay or infection.

You Need to Get Your Gum Disease Under Control

If you aren't doing anything to get your gum disease under control, a dentist may refuse to give you dental implants. This is because when you have uncontrolled gum disease, there is a greater chance the implant will fail. The implant needs plenty of jawbone to support it, and if you have gum disease, it may not be strong enough to allow the artificial root to fuse to the bone. Even if you do have enough jawbone at the time of treatment, your uncontrolled gum disease will continue to weaken your jawbone, causing the tooth to become loose. Dental implants are expensive. A single implant to replace one tooth costs about $4250, and if you have uncontrolled gum disease, you're just wasting money.  

Gum Disease Can Still Affect Implants

Even if you reverse your gum disease or get it under control, you're not out of the woods yet. Just like with natural teeth, the gums around dental implants can get gum disease. Even someone who's never had gum disease can develop peri-implantitis or gum disease around an implant. One of the least attractive problems this can cause is gum recession that exposes the titanium root. Even if you get all your teeth replaced with dental implants, it's important to continue following healthy oral hygiene to prevent this condition. 

You'll Probably Need a Bone Graft

Once you get your mouth healthy enough to receive a dental implant, you probably still aren't ready for the implant. The damage the gum disease caused to your jawbone means it's too weak to support an implant. This doesn't mean you can't get one. It just means that you need a bone graft. Your dentist will take bone from another part of your body or use artificial bone to rebuild your jawbone. This procedure can make it possible for your jaw to support the implant, but it does increase the cost and procedure time.

There Are Many Implant Options

Whether you have one missing tooth or a full set of missing teeth, there is a dental implant for you. Single dental implants are perfect for replacing single missing teeth, but it isn't cost effective to replace many missing teeth in a row or all your teeth with them. Instead, if you have several teeth in a row missing, you'll need an implant-supported bridge. Basically, it's like a traditional dental bridge, expect it uses two dental implants instead of teeth to support the bridge. If you are missing all of your teeth, you can even get implant-supported dentures. These use a handful of implants to replace all your teeth.

If you have missing teeth, dental implants are a great option to consider. However, don't waste your money. Get your gum disease under control and agree to practice good oral hygiene. With proper care, your dental implant can last the rest of your life. Don't wait. Contact a local dentist at http://www.charlottesvilledentistry.com/ today and find out what you have to do to get your beautiful smile.