March 18, 2014

Do Implants Work If You Lost Your Teeth To Gum Disease?

Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is the greatest cause of tooth loss in adults. It is caused by specific bacteria that migrate below the gumline, and cause inflammation, bone loss, and tooth loosening. A common question is, if I lost my teeth to gum disease, wouldn't I lose dental implants the same way? The simple answer is: No!

The literature is full of studies of patients who have lost their teeth due to a history of chronic periodontitis. Natural teeth are anchored in bone, but are connected to the boney socket by a ligament called the periodontal ligament. This soft tissue connection is what is damaged by periodontitis and starts the progression of bone loss and loose teeth. Dental implants are anchored directly to the bone, without any soft tissue interface between bone and implant to break down.

Candidates for Dental Implants

In addition, the bacteria that cause periodontitis in the natural dentition are different from the bacteria that can cause inflammation around implants. The literature substantiates that those patients who have lost their teeth to periodontitis are good candidates for dental implants.

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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