Gerald S. Fine, D.D.S.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Last month a previous patient called with a concern. She spends the winter months in Florida and was told she needed a dental implant. She was uncomfortable being treated in Florida and planned on returning to Boston for the implant in our office. Her concern was that she has had osteoporosis for several years and worried that her history of osteoporosis may possibly result in significant problems if she had an implant placed.
The success of a dental implant may be compromised by systemic conditions. One such common condition is osteoporosis which is characterized by compromised bone strength and an increased risk of bone fracture. Unquestionably, one might anticipated that these changes would compromise the osseointergration process required for a successful implant.
Happily, I was able to lessen her concern. Over a period of 20 years, a study of implants, placed in 192 postmenopausal women of age 50 or older showed no significant increase in the risk of developing implant failure than those considered non-osteoporotic.
This study also evaluated the impact of smoking. The failure rate in the patient who continued to SMOKE was 2.6 times more likely to fail regardless of osteoporotic status.
Clinical Significance: With our aging population, we are seeing more patients interested in the placement of dental implants. Patients with osteopenia or osteoporosis appear to have no greater risk of implant failure. Their dental implant survival rates were 92.5% over 10 years.
A cautionary note. The failure rate of dental implants of those patients taking oral bisphosphonates (Fosamax, Actonel and Boniva) is higher (86%) and it has been recommended that patients discontinue oral bisphosphonate therapy for 3-6 months prior to receiving implants as well as for several of months after placement to permit the reestablishment of bone turnover.
NOTE: Our office is now placing AstraTech dental implants which have a marginal bone loss of 0.3mm or less over a 5 year period.1.2mm of additional marginal bone is a significant improvement over the current standard of 1.5mm and is clinically significant.
Gerald S. Fine, D.D.S.
Practice limited to oral & maxillofacial surgery