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Researchers Link Periodontal Disease to Dental Implant Loss

Posted by Rocky Mountain Endodontics on Thu, May 21, 2015 @ 13:05 PM

Dental Implants & Periodontal Disease

Dental implants are common around the world, but sometimes these implants fail. Is something causing failure in some patients that can be avoided — or which dentists can pinpoint in advance in order to take additional precautions? A group of ​Swedish researchers conducted a study on periodontal disease because they thought that might be playing a key role in dental implant loss. Utilizing 22 clinical human cases, both randomized and not, it was found that patients with periodontitis had a higher chance of losing their implants, as well as suffering bone loss and infections after the surgery.

The researchers reported that these results should not be considered proof, since many factors were uncontrolled. Additionally, technology and strategies for dental implants are always evolving. It is an important clinical implication, but should not necessarily change how patients undergo dental implant procedures, regardless of their periodontitis status. The good news is that, with routine dental check-ins and proper at-home care, periodontal disease can be managed and sometimes even reversed. While it is often considered a disease for older adults, anyone can get it, including children.

Dental Implants in the Long Haul

Another study considered how effective dental implants were in a much larger pool during a nine-year period. These researchers had access to a big pool of random patient samples, and found that both the features of the implants and unique patient traits played a role in the implants’ durability after nine years of use. Particularly, it was found that smokers as well as patients who were diagnosed with periodontitis before getting implants were more likely to lose their implants. Additionally, some specific brands as well as implants shorter than 10 mm had a higher rate of falling out.

It is relatively common for implants to cause peri-implantitis as well as crestal bone loss, but these problems can be treated in a number of ways, including guided bone regeneration (GBR), but since this is a surgical procedure, it is often the last approach taken. The particular laser used in this surgery has been found to reduce the failure rates of implants, ​according to other researchers who published their findings in Clinical Advances in Periodontics.

Another Reason to Stop Smoking

Of course, smoking is the one issue which patients alone can tackle. In a 2014 study, it was found that dental implant patients who smoked were at an increased risk of failure, bone loss and infections. However, scientists are still looking for solutions, and a special coating has been created that kills the bacteria that smoking encourages, but it is not available for dental implants yet.

Dental implants can be highly effective for the right patients and with the right dentists and tools. Ask the professionals at Rocky Mountain Endodontics today if you’re a good fit for dental implants.