You may or may not have heard, but according to a new study by Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, women who were diagnosed with osteoporosis who have dental implants are found to experience an improved overall quality of life.
The study, which was published in the International Journal of Dentistry, had 237 participants who were examined based on their occupation, general, emotional, and sexual health, and overall quality of life. After those factors are taken into account, they are compared as individuals with missing teeth but have dental implants, against those who are missing teeth and do not have dental implants. The study concluded that dental implants seem to significantly impact a woman’s quality of life positively compared to those who have missing teeth but instead use removable dentures, partial restorations, or no fixed dental restoration at all.
Dental implants are favored by patients because, simply put, they are much more reliable than bridges or removable dentures. With all types of dental implants, the mechanics remain the same. First, the surgeon places a small, medical-grade titanium post into the jaw bone during a surgical procedure. This is the implant, and it will fuse with your jaw bone over a few weeks. After the initial procedure, an abutment is put into the implant screw to hold the implant and crown together as the complete prosthesis. Patients commonly remark that the crown, which is a porcelain cap, looks so much like a natural tooth that they can hardly tell the difference! If you do not want to worry about the hassle of removable dentures, you are not alone; dental implants are such a popular restoration option because they are so secure and permanently fixed into the jaw.
Osteoporosis is a porous bone condition that causes bone loss or an inability for bone regeneration. Those with osteoporosis are predisposed to their bones breaking or fracturing easily. People with osteoporosis are diagnosed due to various factors, such as aging or hormonal changes, which is one of the reasons why osteoporosis affects more women than men. During menopause, women tend to lose estrogen and experience a deficiency of calcium or vitamin D.
Unfortunately, the disease also has negative implications for oral health. Osteoporosis can create this “porous bone” problem in the jaw as well. This degradation of the bone can force tooth loss, and a weakened jaw bone can render a patient unable to receive dental restorations without a bone grafting procedure.
Staying on top of your general health, in addition to routine oral hygiene practices, are your best chances for a healthy body and smile. If you would like to learn more about dental implants or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office today for an appointment.