Millions of Americans experience tooth loss every year, and one of the most common causes is something called periodontal disease, better known as gum disease. For many, dental implants offer a natural-looking and long-lasting tooth replacement that has been proven to restore not only the appearance of the smile, but a person’s oral health as well. Of course, this begs the question, “Can someone get dental implants in Lincoln even if they have periodontal disease?”
What is Periodontal Disease?
It’s much easier to answer this question if we first have a basic understanding of periodontal disease and how it relates to tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is actually a bacterial infection that can affect the gums, roots of the teeth, and the bone that supports them. It can occur due to many reasons, but it is most often brought on by a lack of consistent oral hygiene at home which allows plaque to build up along the gum line.
When a person has periodontal disease, bacteria slowly breaks down the gum tissue, and over time, this causes it to recede, exposing the sensitive enamel around the roots of the teeth.
Left untreated, this bacteria will progress and damage the root and the surrounding bone to the point that a tooth is no longer able to stay in place.
Periodontal Disease & Dental Implants
For a person who is interested in getting dental implants, they must first have three basic requirements: good dental health, stable overall health, and a jawbone that is strong enough to support the prosthetic roots. Having untreated periodontal disease makes a person not a qualified candidate for implants because it increases the risk of an infection developing after placement, and it can also affect the stability of an implant in the future by weakening the jawbone.
So, can a person with this infection ever get dental implants? In most cases, yes, but before they are placed, the periodontal disease will need to be treated and brought to a manageable level where the dentist is confident that it won’t affect the procedure.
For a person who has periodontal disease to the degree that it has caused tooth loss, they will likely need to undergo what is called scaling and root planing, which is a type of deep cleaning that is focused specifically on removing plaque and bacteria along the gums and roots of the teeth. A topical antibiotic may be used as well to prevent any reinfection.
What to Remember
While periodontal disease can delay a patient from getting dental implants, with the right treatment, it won’t actually prevent them from restoring their missing teeth. The key is to visit an implant dentist and follow all of their advice so the infection can be brought under control. From there, it’s just a matter of time before someone will be able to enjoy their complete smile again.
About the Author
Dr. Chris Haag is a family, cosmetic, and implant dentist who currently practices at Pioneer Greens Dentistry. For years, he has been able to help countless patients with tooth loss due to periodontal disease in Lincoln get dental implants. He believes that with the right treatment and skill, absolutely everyone can reclaim their smile.
To learn more about periodontal disease and how it can affect replacing your missing teeth, contact Dr. Haag today.