You have learned how to deal with your rheumatoid arthritis in your daily life. You try to stay active and continue doing the things you enjoy, but this condition presents a challenge to say the least. When it comes to replacing your missing teeth, it could prevent you from getting dental implants, the most advanced and popular solution.
How can rheumatoid arthritis interfere with your implants, and what, if anything, can be done about it? Keep reading to find out!
Learning about Your Health History
In addition to understanding your dental history, your implant dentist needs to have to a full report of your health history and the medications you are currently taking. This insight into your overall health can provide clues as to how your implant procedure would go.
With rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease, common medication like methotrexate suppresses the immune system to alleviate symptoms; however, this relief comes with a higher risk of gum infections in the mouth and around the implant.
As a result of this increased risk, your implant dentist may need to keep a close eye on your mouth, meaning you may need to visit them more frequently than every six months. If your propensity for gum infections is not brought under control, you may not be eligible for dental implants.
Checking Your Bone Density
Every patient considering dental implants must have a special scan performed on their jawbone. Using 3D cone beam imaging technology, your implant dentist can see clearly how much density and strength your jawbone has.
If you have been taking methotrexate for a long time, your bone density may be low, disqualifying you from getting implants. In some cases, however, a bone graft may be able to reinforce the jawbone, making implants a possibility again.
Keeping Your Teeth Clean
For many patients with rheumatoid arthritis, fine motor skills become very difficult. In other words, this condition can impede your ability to hold onto and manipulate a toothbrush or a piece of floss.
Unfortunately, if you are not able to keep up a strict oral hygiene routine at home, your dental implants will not last long. Plaque and bacteria may not cause decay, but the gum tissue can become infected and pull away from the implant, causing failure.
The good news is that certain products can make daily oral care easier for you if you struggle with rheumatoid arthritis. An electric toothbrush and water flosser make these little, yet vital tasks possible even if you have limited mobility.
In the end, the only way to have a clearer idea about your eligibility for dental implants is to talk with your implant dentist in person. Together, you can come up with a treatment plan for replacement that meets your unique needs and situation.
About the Practice
Pioneer Greens Dentistry is proud to serve patients who have various medical and dental needs. Dr. Chris Haag and Dr. Claire Haag, with decades of experience and the latest in dental technology, customize procedures to each patient, taking every variable into account. If you are considering getting dental implants, you can schedule a consultation at Pioneer Greens Dentistry by calling the Lincoln office at 402-483-7502 or visiting our Contact Us page here.