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Can You Have a Dental Implant If You Have Osteoporosis?

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Osteoporosis can affect your bones. This condition may make bones less dense and, therefore, less strong than they were before. If you have osteoporosis and know a little about how dental implants work, then you may be worried that you can't have this kind of tooth replacement.

What do you need to know?

How Osteoporosis Might Affect an Implant

To work successfully, dental implants need a certain amount and density of bone. The core part of the implant is drilled into the bone, where it entrenches itself to create an anchor for its tooth.

This procedure may fail if you don't have enough bone to hold the implant or if your bone isn't strong enough. This can happen to people who don't have osteoporosis; however, your condition may bring an increased risk if it has affected the bones in your face. Osteoporosis can make bones less dense and more fragile.

How to Assess If an Implant Will Work for You

You can't tell if osteoporosis will affect a dental implant procedure unless you consult your dentist. Your dentist can evaluate the density of the bone in the implant area, usually by taking X-rays, to see if you are a suitable candidate. Often, this isn't an issue, and you may have just as much chance of success as someone without osteoporosis. For example, you may already be taking medications to slow down ongoing bone loss, so the bone in the area may be in pretty good shape.

Alternatively, you may be looking to replace a tooth that you lost recently or will have extracted as part of the implantation process. In these cases, your bone density won't have degraded as much as it might have if you've had a missing tooth for a longer time.

In some cases, your dentist may feel that your bone isn't going to hold a regular implant. This doesn't necessarily mean that you can't have an implant, but you may need to choose a different option. For example, your dentist may recommend a subperiosteal implant instead. These implants are fixed to the gums rather than to bone, so this may be a viable solution for you.

If you do have bone density problems, then your dentist may also talk to you about ways to build up the bone. Grafting techniques may shore up weakened areas and make them robust enough to hold an implant post. For more information, talk to your dentist.