If you have lost one or more teeth, dental implants can be used to fully restore your smile. But if you have lost your teeth to periodontal disease, dental implants will be more likely to fail. Since periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults, does this mean dental implants are failing the people that need them most?

No. Dental implants can be successful in patients with periodontal disease. It just means that dentists and patients have to work together to maintain oral health and improve the odds of dental implant success.

How Periodontal Disease Leads to Tooth Loss

Periodontal disease attacks the structure around your teeth. Bacteria create colonies in your gums around your teeth, driving your gums apart from your teeth, and damaging the bone and ligaments that support your teeth.

In early periodontal disease, you may only notice red, inflamed gums. Perhaps they bleed a little and are tender. This is not normal and needs attention. If you don’t get treatment for periodontal disease, you may notice your teeth start to loosen. They may then come out or have to be removed because of the severity of the infection.

How Periodontal Disease Leads to Implant Failure

Dental implants are great because they are secured in your jawbone. This means they’re basically like a completely new tooth, and can be used to eat all the same foods you enjoyed before without any special care. But it also means that, like your natural teeth, dental implants are subject to the same processes of periodontal disease that destroy your bone material, leading to increased failure rates.

This can dramatically impact your odds of dental implant success.  According to a ten-year long study, people without a history of periodontal disease only had a 5% risk of dental implant failure, while those who had periodontal disease had a 29% risk of dental implant failure. A more recent study showed that  periodontal disease increases your risk of dental implant failure nearly 3-fold, but had a much lower failure rate of 12% for patients with periodontal disease.

For Success, You Have to Play Your Part

The good news is that techniques are improving all the time for helping people get good success with dental implants, despite periodontal disease. We understand the signs and know how to treat them to make sure your teeth, gums, and bone are healthy.

But you have to do your part. The most important person in oral hygiene is you, so if you are committed to getting and maintaining your new smile, your dental implants are likely to be a success. If you don’t fail them, dental implants probably won’t fail you.

To learn more about getting great results with dental implants, please contact Ravon-Knopf Dentistry in Beverly Hills today.