For so long, osteoporosis and dental implants seemed like two totally incompatible terms. Results from a new study, however, offer new insight into that belief.
The said study, conducted by researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, has suggested that dental implants may offer the best route to take for patients with osteoporosis who are suffering from tooth loss. Surveying a total of 237 osteoporotic women on how they view their quality of life after undergoing treatment to replace missing teeth, the researchers found that those with dental implants reported a higher overall satisfaction with their lives. Other dental replacement solutions like fixed dentures came in second, followed by false teeth, and no restoration work at all in the very last position.
There is, however, one lingering concern: since osteoporosis is all about bone degradation, doesn’t it defeat the main purpose of dental implants (which are primarily designed to replace natural teeth in the jawbone?). To know whether osteoporotic patients can safely visit a local dentist in a Grand Junction, CO practice like Grand Dental, P.C. for dental implants, it pays to know more about osteoporosis itself.
Osteoporosis, in general, is when the bones lose their density; most often with age as the bones’ natural healing processes change. During these osteoporotic changes, the body actually removes more bone than it replaces, something which can be further affected by lifestyle factors such as diet, notwithstanding genetics. Osteoporosis can affect a good number of bones including the jaw and is said to be precipitated by hormonal imbalances (i.e. estrogen deficiency), which puts women at greater risk of losing their teeth.
While osteoporosis itself seems like the overarching factor in these situations, it actually isn’t. What also matters is the medications patients take—bisphosphonates, to be exact. A study has been conducted to try and see whether taking bisphosphonates adversely affects implant success in osteoporotic patients, and the results were quite interesting: nine osteoporotic patients actively consuming bisphosphonates for less than 3 years were fitted with a total of 54 implants, and no implant ever failed. Additional studies back this up.
A study of 1,319 female dental implant patients over 40 years of age, published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, identified a total of 468 implants placed in 115 patients who reported having received bisphosphonates. Of all those implants, only 2 failed to integrate fully, and the remaining 466 met the criteria for true implant success.
So if there’s still any concern about a qualified dentist from Grand Junction, CO and elsewhere prescribing dental implants to osteoporotic patients, there shouldn’t be any. In fact, through skilled assessment and proper imaging, your dentist can use a specific type, size, or shape of implants that your jaw bone can fully support.
Dental Implants Result In Better Quality Of Life For Osteoporotic Women, ScienceDaily.com, June 11, 2015
Successful Dental Implants For Patients Taking Bisphosphonates For Osteoporosis, NewsWise.com, March 9, 2012
Outcomes Of Placing Dental Implants In patients Taking Oral Bisphosphonates: A Review Of 115 Cases, NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov