Understanding Some Osteoporosis And Dental Implant Concerns

3 January 2017
 Categories: Dentist, Articles


If you have osteoporosis and want a dental implant, then you need to speak with your dental professional about whether you can or cannot receive the implant device. While most people can receive implants and enjoy a success rate as high as 98%, there may be some complications in your case. Keep reading to understand a few issues that may arise so you can speak to your dentist about them.

Poor Integration

Osteoporosis is a condition where the mineral content of the bones is lower than it should be. The result is bone matter that is far less dense. Bones that are not dense are more likely to break or thin out over time. Your dentist may inform you that your jaw is already thin with a narrow structure due to your condition. In some cases, the bone can be thickened with a bone graft. Since your bones are already thin, your own bone likely cannot be used. Cadaver or bovine tissues may be needed instead.

It will take several months for your body to develop new bone cells that replace the graft material and help to adhere the graft to the rest of the jaw. Once this happens, the dental implant root can be secured into the graft. While the piece of natural or artificial bone will supply the jaw with a solid foundation for the root, complications can occur after the implant is inserted. Specifically, your body may have some trouble integrating the root into the jaw. The process is called osseointegration, and it involves the growth of new cells that bind to the implant root.

Since your body no longer develops dense bone matter, the integration between the jaw and the implant may be relatively weak. This means that the implant root may break free from the bone as healing progresses. 

Your dentist will need to closely watch how your healing progresses to make sure bone forms strongly around your implant root. In some cases, the osseointegration process will take several months longer than usual. This may mean that you will not receive an artificial tooth as soon as other individuals, but this will prevent the implant from loosening as you eat.

Bone loss may be a concern after the artificial tooth is secured in your mouth. Make sure to work with your dentist so that regular inspections can be completed to ensure the health of your implant.

Jaw Necrosis

Many people with osteoporosis take medications to keep their bones as strong as possible. The medications may include biophosphonates. Biophosphonates are medications that stop the bone from remodeling as quickly. Specifically, the drugs inhibit the action of osteoclasts, and this stops the bone from losing cells. While this is a good thing to stop the bones from thinning, the medication can cause some complications when a dental implant is secured.

Bone remodeling is necessary for the implant to connect to the jaw, but the process is hampered when old bone cells remain. Not only can biophosphonates stop new bone from developing correctly, but they can disrupt the formation of new blood vessels around the implant area. Without a good supply of blood, the bone can die. 

Bone death related to the use of osteoporosis medication is called biophosphonate-related osteonecrosis. The condition can be prevented by speaking with a dental professional about dental implants soon after a natural tooth is lost. Also, you may need to stop taking your medication for some time before receiving an implant. However, the medication can stay in the body for some time, so you may need to schedule the procedure months or even a year in advance before you can receive the device. Contact a clinic like Family Dentistry Of Woodstock for more information.