Gum Disease, Bone Loss and Dental Implants
If you have lost a tooth (or teeth) and you suffer from gum disease or bone loss in your jaw (or both), then it’s important to get appropriate dental treatment for each issue. Effective gum disease and bone loss treatment provides the foundation necessary for dental implants to replace your missing tooth (or teeth).
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a long-term replacement option for missing teeth. They function and look like real teeth, even though they are artificial tooth roots. Dental implants involve surgery and they are different from root canal treatments (which are performed to avoid teeth from having to be replaced).
A dental implant has three components: a crown (a dental cap for the missing tooth/teeth), a small titanium screw that’s placed in the jaw, and what’s called an abutment to connect the crown and the screw. Bone tissue grows around the implants to hold them in place.
Because dental implants rely on an appropriate attachment to the gum, the health of the gum and the bones within the jaw are crucial for an effective dental implant treatment.
Can I get dental implants with gum disease?
If you already have gum disease, it’s important for it to be treated effectively before you have a dental implant. This helps to ensure that your gums will be able to hold the implants firmly in place. If you have gum disease, it will affect your ability to hold your teeth in place.
Gum disease can be caused by food, plaque (bacteria) and tartar (hardened plaque) getting trapped in your gum. It can happen whether or not you have lost a tooth (or teeth). For example, it can happen if you have poor oral hygiene habits, such as not brushing or flossing your teeth well enough or often enough. Tartar is especially hard to remove. It requires dental treatment to do so.
Early stage gum disease can be cured. On the other hand, advanced stage gum disease (known as periodontitis) can’t be cured. It results in soft tissue, bone damage and inflammation around your teeth. It can be painful and result in chewing problems. Left untreated, periodontitis can result in teeth loosening and falling off the gum.
However, while it can’t be cured, periodontitis can be treated effectively to enable a successful dental implant procedure to subsequently be performed. Dental treatments for it can be non-surgical or surgical. Non-surgical dental treatments include:
- teeth and gum scaling to remove bacteria and tartar.
- teeth root planing to smooth surfaces and discourage the further build up of bacteria and tartar.
- antibiotics to help control and eliminate infections.
Surgical dental treatments for periodontitis include:
- pocket reduction surgery to enable more effective scaling and root planing)
- grafts to reinforce gum tissue.
- applying a protein gel to stimulate gum tissue growth.
Once gum health is restored, a dental implant can reduce the risk of future gum disease if you maintain good oral hygiene.
Can I get dental implants with bone loss?
Losing a tooth (or teeth) can lead to bone loss in the jaw (and periodontitis is the leading cause of adult tooth loss). Jawbone loss can also be caused by periodontitis, the long-term wearing of dentures, an infection, or defects in tooth development.
If you have experienced bone loss in your jaw, again it’s important for it to be treated effectively before you have a dental implant. Grafting is an effective treatment for jawbone loss. Bone grafting helps to restore the original jaw structure.
Once the jawbone loss is sufficiently restored, a dental implant can help to promote bone growth via a process known as osseointegration (where the bone regrows around the implant to embed it firmly in the jaw).
How much do dental implants cost?
This varies depending on your individual situation. Factors that affect the cost include the health of your gums, whether you have any bone loss or not, and how many teeth you need replaced.
It’s best to speak to a dentist who specialises in implants to get the right advice.
How we can help you
Dental implants are one of our specialist services at Aria Dental. We provide the highest quality dental implants Perth has to offer. We can give you advice and recommend a suitable treatment for your specific needs about dental treatments for pregnancy or from overseas.
In addition to dental implants, we also specialise in:
- high-end denture procedures, and
- cosmetic dentistry (including Invisalign treatment).
Contact us today to find out more about your dental needs. We’re located in Hay Street in the Perth CBD.