Gum Disease and Dental Implants

If I’m losing my teeth because of gum disease, can I replace them with dental implants?

Brent W.

Dear Brent,

dental implant diagram While dental implants are a fantastic tooth replacement, you are not a candidate while you have advanced gum disease. As you can see from the image to the left, the dental implants have to be surrounded by adequate bone. It is what retains the implants, just like that bone retains your natural teeth.

You’re currently losing your teeth because, with advanced gum disease, the bone structure deteriorates. You no longer have enough bone to keep your teeth in. That means you won’t be able to retain the implants either.

My suggestion is to focus on getting treatment for your gum disease. You can have temporary tooth replacements placed while you are undergoing that treatment. Then, when your gums are healed, that is the time to get the implants.

Cosmetic Considerations with Dental Implants

You can give your smile a mini smile makeover when it comes time to get your dental implants. The porcelain crowns used as the “tooth” portion of the implants can be made any color. However, once they’re bonded on, the color is permanent. If you whiten your teeth, your natural teeth will whiten, but not the dental crowns.

If you get your teeth whitened before the crowns are made, this will allow the dentist to make them to your new brighter color. That one step can make your smile (and you) look years younger.

Remember, here’s the order you need to take things:

  • Step one: Treat gum disease, using temporary tooth replacements as necessary.
  • Step two: Have dental implants placed.
  • Step three: Get your teeth whitened.
  • Step Four: Implant crowns can be placed

If you do this along with good oral care at home and twice yearly with your dentist, you will have a smile you are proud of once again.

This blog is brought to you by Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. Steven Collins.