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Can You Still Get Dental Implants if You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

March 19, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — friscoperio @ 6:07 pm
Man with dental implants and rheumatoid arthritis in Frisco

While dental implants remain the most advanced tooth replacement solution out there, they do carry certain prerequisites to receive. For one, you’ll need to have good oral health and a willingness to practice strict oral care at home. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, this can complicate things. Not only is your oral hygiene likely to be more difficult, but your medications to manage RA could have a negative impact on your implants. Before your consultation with a professional, consider the facts about dental implants and rheumatoid arthritis in Frisco first.

How RA Can Affect Your Oral Hygiene

As a condition that causes swollen and painful joints, RA can make basic tasks like brushing and flossing significantly more difficult. Since strict oral hygiene at home is vital to maintaining the health and longevity of your dental implants, this condition can affect your ability to prevent problems like plaque buildup (and by proxy, infection of the gum tissue surrounding the implant).

If your RA has gotten to the point where it’s impossible to practice oral care on your own, you may want to consider other options. Alternatively, you can try to get your disease under control first or get help with your brushing and flossing before committing to dental implant treatment.

RA Medications and Your Immune System

Like many autoimmune disorders, you’re likely taking medications designed to suppress your immune system in order to avoid the most serious and life-debilitating symptoms. However, this means the system responsible for facilitating healing around your dental implants is not as effective, meaning your risk of infection is higher. Furthermore, if you are taking medications that affect bone healing, such as methotrexate, your jawbone may be unable to fuse with the implant. Long-term use of this medication can also reduce bone density and cause the implant to fail later.

Why Periodontists Care About Your Medical History

It’s important to keep in mind that having RA does not automatically exclude you from eligibility to receive dental implants. With that said, you will need to speak extensively with your doctor and the periodontist you intend to receive care from. Tell your general practitioner about your plans to complete treatment and whether you can safely do so while having your condition. That way, they can coordinate with the periodontist to reduce your risk of any long-term complications.

One of the reasons periodontists ask about your medical history is specifically so they can better personalize your treatment process from start to finish. On top of reviewing any preexisting medical conditions, they’ll confirm your jawbone density, the state of your gums, and any other concerns about your oral health. Schedule an appointment with one today to learn more about the tooth replacement process!

About the Author

Dr. Carnow has nearly a decade of experience as a dentist and is currently a board-certified periodontist. He’s completed extensive training to navigate even the most complex gum disease and dental implant cases. If you have any preexisting conditions that you fear may prevent you from receiving dental implant surgery or you simply want to learn more, give his office a call to schedule an in-person

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