Here's a question for those living with osteoporosis — can you still get dental implants? If you're in need of a tooth replacement, a dental implant is the logical choice. And yet, since osteoporosis can compromise your bone density, and the density of certain bones (namely your alveolar bone) is essential for the success of a dental implant, surely this means that this type of tooth replacement isn't for you? It's not quite that simple, and you might still be able to receive a dental implant without too much trouble.

A Stable Base

Regardless of the presence of osteoporosis, some people need additional preparation work before they can receive a dental implant. The density of the alveolar bone plays such a significant role in the success of a dental implant, as the implant needs a stable base, and only a sufficiently dense alveolar bone can provide this. Bone density in your jaw can begin to subside when a tooth is lost, and so, many people require bone grafting to make them a suitable candidate for a dental implant.

Bone Grafting

The process of bone grafting requires suitable bone tissue to be transplanted onto the site of the implant, and your osteoporosis doesn't exclude you from this. The bone tissue is taken from within your mouth or another part of your body (such as your hip bone) and is then grafted into your jaw (generally directly onto the empty dental socket). If your osteoporosis means that any transplanted bone taken from your body will lack the necessary density, then donor bone can be used. Once the site has healed and the bone has the required density, then your implant can be placed.

Osteonecrosis of the Jaw

Your lack of bone density can be aggravated by osteonecrosis of the jaw (which is when pieces of the bone are exposed through lesions in your gums), which can be a side effect of certain osteoporosis medications. Because of this, it can be necessary to take a drug holiday from these medications, around two months before any oral surgery, so that these side effects don't complicate your dental implant surgery. This is not the best scenario for everyone, and you must consult your physician before discontinuing any prescribed medication. It's also crucial to discuss your medications with your dentist so they know precisely what's in your system and how it might affect your implant surgery and recovery.

So while your osteoporosis isn't going to prevent you from getting a successful dental implant, certain considerations must be made to accommodate your condition.

For more information, contact a dental implant service.