Dental Implants and Gum Disease: Can Implants Be the Cure?
For patients dealing with a need for both dental implants and gum disease treatment, it makes sense to wonder whether they can be pursued at the same time – and whether dental implants could be the fix for both issues.
About 14% of the global adult population suffers from severe gum disease, according to the World Health Organization. This represents about one billion cases, though actual numbers may be higher. Gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease, happens when bacteria-ridden plaque builds up on the teeth. Symptoms include red, swollen, and painful gums, as well as bad breath and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. If left untreated, gum disease can also lead to the loss of one or more teeth.
So, are implants a reliable solution for gum disease? Here’s what to know about dental implants, gum disease, and why a healthy mouth is key to implant success.
Can you get dental implants if you have gum disease?
Unfortunately, no. Dental implants require healthy gums in order to stay in place since otherwise, they’ll just end up facing the same problems.
Over time, gum disease leads to a weakening of both the tissue surrounding the teeth and the jawbone itself. It also leads to general bone density issues. These problems cause teeth to become unstable and loose, and, if proper care isn’t pursued, to ultimately fall out of the mouth.
In order to be successful, they need to be placed on healthy gum tissue and supported by a strong jawbone. This provides the implanted roots with a sufficient amount of bone matter to adhere to, and the implanted teeth with enough gum support around the root and crown.
The final answer then? Gum disease must be adequately treated before dental implant surgery, and dental implants cannot cure underlying periodontal issues. That doesn’t mean that implants aren’t an available option for those with gum disease, but it does mean that if one or more is required, a healthy mouth must come first.
Replacing teeth after gum disease
Getting implants for severe gum disease may not be a quick fix, but they do still play a role for many in the overall treatment of periodontal disease.
Individuals who have lost teeth to gum disease can explore dental implant surgery after getting their gums treated, so long as the existing gum tissue and bone structure are strong enough to support the implanted root and crown. From there, it’s just a matter of taking sufficient care of the mouth to prevent peri-implantitis, which is gum disease that occurs around an implant.
For those who receive dental implants after gum disease treatment, as well as for those who get them placed into an already healthy mouth, preventative care is crucial to maintaining the long-term health of the implant. This includes adhering to a strict at-home brushing and flossing routine, avoiding smoking, and seeing the dentist for regular check-ups. Those with existing gum disease should also schedule regular check-ups with a periodontist.
Want to know more?
Gum disease can delay dental implants, but it doesn’t mean that those with gum disease can’t eventually benefit from dental implant surgery.
At The Dental Experience, Dr. Mario Garita offers periodontal disease treatment and full mouth restoration services. Contact The Dental Experience to learn about available services and whether you might be a good candidate for affordable dental implants. Our team can help you arrange for your travels down to Costa Rica, and is here to guide you every step of the way as you work with Dr. Garita to achieve the healthy mouth and beautiful smile you deserve.
Contact us today to get started!