Dental implant procedures tend to be highly successful, but they may be affected by many factors, such as smoking or your oral health. They may also be affected by medications you are taking. One of the more common medications that may affect your dental implant procedure is the osteoporosis medication bisphosphonates, which alter the way your bones heal.
How Bisphosphonate Works
It’s hard to imagine, but our bones aren’t actually constantly solid. Instead, they are continually being made and unmade by cells that remove some bone material, called osteoclasts, and bones that replace it, called osteoblasts. This procedure is actually vital for orthodontic procedures like Invisalign, because they allow your teeth to move as bone is remade around them.
These processes should be in balance, but as we age the osteoclasts outpace the osteoblasts, resulting in osteoporosis. Bisphosphonates impede the action of the osteoclasts, allowing bone material to build up.
How This Might Affect Your Dental Implants
Osteoclasts actually perform an important role in your jaw’s healing mechanism. Think of it as if you are trying to repair a damaged car: would you get better results if you remove a damaged part or just tried to place the new part on over the old? So some fear that if you are taking bisphosphonates your dental implants may not integrate well with your jawbone.
What Does the Science Say?
Unfortunately, there is not clear scientific evidence one way or another about the effect of bisphosphonates on dental implants. Most studies suggest that there is no negative impact, but a few studies say that there might be. It’s hard to conclude based on this evidence, so it’s important to work with a dentist whose experience and knowledge can give good insight into the proper course of action for your dental implant.
At Beyond Exceptional Dentistry in the Hilton Head, SC area, our dentists, Dr. Brad Durham and Dr. Rod Strickland, are two of the most respected dentists in the field, and they can help you make important decisions such as whether your medications may affect your dental care.
To talk to us about dental implants or another cosmetic dentistry procedure, please contact Beyond Exceptional Dentistry today.