What Do You Need To Know About Getting A Dental Implant When You Have Osteoporosis?

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Dental implants are one of the most durable choices to replace missing teeth. The post supporting the implant fuses directly to your jawbone, which provides a substantial amount of strength and support.

Since a dental implant needs to fuse to your jawbone, you may be wondering if you can get one if you have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis occurs when your bone breaks down faster than it can rebuild itself, causing your bones to become weaker and more porous, and this includes your jawbone. Thankfully, you're often still a good candidate for a dental implant even when you have osteoporosis. To learn about getting an implant when you have osteoporosis, read on.

Your Jawbone Strength Will Be Assessed Before Getting an Implant

Whether a patient has osteoporosis or not, the first step before getting a dental implant is to take dental X-rays in order to determine how strong the patient's jawbone is. When someone loses a tooth, the bone near that area will start breaking down because it's no longer being exposed to any force from chewing.

This bone loss happens even in people who don't have osteoporosis, so jawbone strength is always checked before proceeding with placing the implant. When you ask your dentist about dental implants, they'll be able to determine if your jawbone is strong enough to support them by taking X-rays of your mouth.

You Can Undergo Bone Grafting or Get Zygomatic Implants if Your Jawbone Is Too Soft

If your dentist determines that your jawbone isn't strong enough to support a dental implant, whether it's because of osteoporosis or because you've been missing that tooth for a long time, you have two options that can allow you to still get an implant.

The first option is bone grafting. A dental surgeon will take a small piece of your own bone from somewhere else on your body or lab-created synthetic bone and place it in your jawbone. It will slowly fuse with your jawbone and provide added support and density, making it strong enough to support an implant.

You can also opt for zygomatic dental implants instead of traditional implants. Zygomatic implants use longer posts that are placed in your cheekbone instead of your jawbone, which tends to be much stronger. The longer posts and more surrounding bone make them a more durable option if your jawbone has lost strength because of osteoporosis.

You May Have to Stop Taking Medication for Osteoporosis Before Getting an Implant

If you have osteoporosis, your dentist may require you to stop taking your osteoporosis medication temporarily. Osteoporosis medication helps stop the bone from breaking down. This can present a problem when you have an implant placed since the old bone needs to be broken down so that new bone can form that's fused to the implant. Since your osteoporosis medication is important for keeping your bones strong, you'll need to have a conversation with your doctor and your dentist about how to best manage stopping your medication temporarily so that an implant can be placed.

As you can see, getting a dental implant is still possible when you have osteoporosis. A dentist will determine if your jawbone can properly support an implant. If you don't have enough bone, you can either get zygomatic implants or undergo a bone graft to reinforce the bone in your jaw. If you have osteoporosis and want to use an implant to replace a missing tooth, schedule an appointment with a dentist who has experience working with patients who have osteoporosis, making sure that you tell them about the osteoporosis medications that you're taking so that they can develop a strategy to make the procedure successful.

For more information, contact a company like Lighthouse Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.