Most people who need dental implants have lost their teeth to decay, gum diseases, or physical damage. However, multiple studies are proving a link between tooth decay and medical conditions that are not directly tied to oral health. To coincide with this year’s National Dental Hygiene Month, Medical News Today gave a quick overview of these studies including one, which linked Alzheimer’s with poor oral health.
The 2010 research conducted by the New York University (NYU) showed a correlation between gum infections and Alzheimer’s disease from data covering 20 years. It was found that the incidence of low cognitive functions scores was strongly associated with subjects with gum diseases.
Other ailments that demonstrated a clear relationship with gum diseases and tooth loss are pancreatic cancer and heart disease. While these oral health problems may indicate a need for dental implants soon, not everyone who’s sick and had lost a tooth or two can get a set of implants right away. Dentists, including those who provide their patients with high-quality dental implants in Philadelphia, would need to take note of the person’s medical history before they can recommend such a procedure, to prevent complications from arising.
Generally speaking, anyone with a missing tooth is eligible for an implant, unless they have a disease that hinders their body’s ability to heal. Heart diseases and pancreatic cancer, unfortunately, fall into this category. The nature of a dental implant procedure itself requires proper healing: metal implants, typically titanium, are surgically inserted into the jawline, where it is expected to bond with the jawbone. If the bone doesn’t heal quickly enough, the implant might fail to fuse permanently, and the implant could fail.
Dentists also encourage those who smoke to quit the habit six months before the procedure. The sucking motion in smoking is known to affect the healing of the surgical wound.
On the other hand, people with gum diseases may still be eligible for implants, provided that the condition is first controlled. Likewise, people with Type II diabetes can undergo a dental implant in Philadelphia and elsewhere, provided that their glycosylated hemoglobin levels are less than 8 percent, and prophylactic antibiotics are applied during the procedure. This wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for advances in medicine and dental implant technology.
In cases where non-oral medical conditions are involved, the dentist often works in collaboration with the patient’s physician, first of all, to determine if the patient is a good candidate for an implant; and second, to ensure the conditions are safe for the patient before the implant is carried out. Patients can rest assured their safety would be paramount in the dentist’s mind.
(Source: Beyond tooth decay: why good dental hygiene is important, Medical News Today, October 8, 2014)