Losing an adult tooth can be a cause for concern. Not only does a missing tooth affect your physical appearance, but it can also lead to bone deterioration in the jaw. Dental implants are commonly recommended by dentists as a treatment option for replacing missing teeth.
You may be wondering how osteoporosis can affect the placement of a dental implant. There are some things you need to know about osteoporosis and dental implants if you are thinking about using an implant to replace a missing tooth in the future.
Dental Implants Utilize Your Natural Bone
There is a close relationship between your natural jaw bone and a dental implant. Your dentist will anchor a metal post to your jaw bone in the space where your tooth is missing. Once the gum tissue heals around this post, a crown can be added to complete the implant.
Since it is your jaw bone that holds the implant firmly in place, the condition of the bone is important.
You May Need a Bone Graft
Osteoporosis doesn't automatically preclude you from getting a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. Your dentist will evaluate the condition of the jaw bone to determine if there is enough bone density to support the implant.
If the bone doesn't appear to be structurally sound enough for an implant, you may need to have a bone graft before the post can be set. A bone graft helps to fortify your existing bone so that the implant can fuse properly.
A bone graft can add to the healing time associated with a dental implant procedure, but it can be a great way to help overcome some of the limitations created by osteoporosis when it comes to replacing a missing tooth.
Osteoporosis Won't Cause an Implant to Fail
If you have already had a dental implant, you may be wondering what will happen to the implant as your osteoporosis progresses. Research shows that there is no evidence to support claims that osteoporosis will make a dental implant fail.
The post that your dentist implants into the bone fuses with the existing bone in your jaw relatively quickly. This means that within a matter of weeks, your implant will take root. The onset of osteoporosis will not affect the fusion process, and your implant will continue to function normally.
You should discuss your concerns with your dentist to ensure you are doing everything required to extend the life of your implant well into the future. For more information about dental implants, contact a local dentist.