Dental implants are a long-term solution for tooth loss, but people investigating this treatment need to have good dental and medical health and ideally should not have any signs of periodontal disease (severe gum disease). Advanced periodontal disease can be tricky to treat as it may become chronic, requiring ongoing care to control it. However, severe gum disease often causes tooth loss, so does this mean patients with gum disease can’t have implants?
The short answer is probably not. A dental article published some years ago found the survival rates of dental implants in people with periodontal disease were little different compared to those without this condition. Anyone visiting our practice is carefully assessed for suitability. We review your medical and dental history to determine if implants are the best treatment and provide a good chance of long-term success. One issue with severe gum disease is that it can destroy the jawbone, leaving inadequate bone for implant placement.
When this is the case, a special type of implant may be needed called a zygomatic implant that uses the cheekbone instead of the jawbone. Another option is to have a bone graft to build up the missing bone in the jaw, which could help people who have had severe periodontitis successfully treated.