Periodontal Disease and Dental Implants

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Published on: April 5, 2012

According to the American Dental Association, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. If you’re considering dental implants to replace your lost teeth, ironically the very condition that caused you to require implants may prevent their long-term success. In order for your dental implants to anchor into your jawbone and stay in place, you must first ensure that your periodontal disease is under control.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also called periodontitis or gum disease, is an infection or inflammation of the tissues that hold the teeth in place. These supporting tissues consist of the gums, tooth sockets, and periodontal ligaments. Gum disease often begins with bacterial plaque, a sticky, naturally-occurring substance that collects on the teeth. When plaque is not properly cleaned from the teeth, it hardens into a substance called tartar. Plaque and tartar irritate the gums and contribute to infection. Bacteria eat away the bond between teeth and gums and create pockets at the gum line, where they live and breed. If left untreated, periodontitis can destroy more supporting tissues and even infect the jawbone which leads to bone deterioration, loose teeth, and tooth loss.

How does periodontal disease affect the success of dental implants?

Dental implants are artificial teeth that consist of a replacement tooth root and crown. The success of dental implants depends, in part, on healthy jawbone tissue for support. If you have had severe gum disease, you may require periodontal treatment and gum or bone grafts prior to implant placement. If you currently have gum disease, you will need treatment to get it under control before implants are placed. Healthy gum and bone tissue improve the success of dental implants.

How is periodontal disease treated?

Mild gum disease can be treated conservatively with a deep cleaning, special mouth rinse, and/or antibiotic treatments. More advanced periodontal disease may require the services of a periodontist, which can include a deeper cleaning of the tooth root or surgery. Once your dental implants are placed, good oral hygiene and regular checkups from Dr. Seal should help prevent your gum disease from recurring.

Contact our Dallas prosthodontist office today at (214) 361-0883 to speak with Dr. Seal about periodontal disease or dental implants. Having over 25 years’ experience as a North Dallas prosthodontist and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Seal serves residents in the Katy Trail and SMU areas, as well as Highland Park, University Park, and the neighboring communities.