Women with Osteoporosis are Still Good Candidates for Dental Implants

Are you still dealing with annoying dentures because you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis and didn’t think your jaw bones were strong enough to support dental implants? A new study confirms that it’s time to reconsider. Here’s why:

In the distant past, some surgeons were reluctant to place dental implants in patients with osteoporosis, since these individuals had overall poor bone quality. But recent data suggests that patients with osteoporosis fared equally as well as those in the healthy control group when it came to dental implants.

The Journal of Dental Research recently published findings from a five-year study. As stated in the report’s Abstract: “Oral implant therapy in osteoporotic patients is a reliable treatment option with comparable osseointegration rates, implant survival, and marginal bone-level alterations after 5 years of functional loading.”

It has been Dr. Levine’s experience, with over 30 years in practice, that osteoporosis has minimal effect, if any, on osseointegration (see below). To be sure, a thorough dental exam is needed with review of medications.

Osteoporosis: The “Silent Disease”

Patients with osteoporosis experience reduced quality of bone, leading to fragility and increased risk of fracture. The disease is most common among older women, although individuals of any age can have osteoporosis. It’s considered the “silent disease” because you may not know you have it until you break bones, especially those in the hips, spine and wrists. Individuals with severe osteoporosis can also experience neck pain or even loss of height.

Following the placement of dental implants, a natural process called osseointegration occurs which allows the titanium implants to become a permanent part of your jaw, acting just like your former tooth roots. Dental crowns are affixed to these implants which function, look and feel just like natural teeth.

Do you or your loved one have osteoporosis and need tooth replacement? As board-certified periodontists, Drs. Fava and Levine are experts in understanding and correcting issues with oral soft tissue and bone disease of the mouth. Schedule a consultation to see how we can improve your smile, even if you have osteoporosis!