Having Kidney Disease Needn’t Mean You Can’t Have Dental Implants
All well-experienced clinicians who routinely place dental implants will take every possible precaution when planning this treatment. This includes thoroughly assessing a patient’s dental and medical health. It is particularly vital when treating people who have chronic kidney disease.
They can use this when placing dental implants in people with chronic kidney disease. The guidelines include sensible suggestions such as consulting with a nephrologist prior to surgery and following up with patients after their surgery.
Chronic kidney disease is a condition affecting approximately 11% of adults worldwide and the number of people afflicted with this disease is growing. Up to 90% of people with chronic kidney disease may have oral symptoms.
Symptoms such as gingival bleeding which is where the gums bleed, or advanced gum disease or even periodontitis can lead to problems such as early tooth loss. Another common issue is xerostomia or dry mouth, where a patient is unable to produce sufficient saliva to keep the mouth clean and comfortable. When there isn’t enough saliva, the risk of dental disease increases which is another important factor to consider for anyone wishing to have dental implants.
One problem with chronic kidney disease and poor oral health is that these conditions can worsen each other. Poor oral health increases the risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream and affecting kidney disease.
Additionally, people with loose or missing teeth will often find its very uncomfortable to eat properly and poor nutrition can affect the kidneys. Apparently, people with chronic kidney disease are less likely to visit dentists compared to healthy patients.
A lack of good dental care increases the likelihood of dental plaque which in turn increases the risk of periodontal disease.
Furthermore, another problem is that diabetes has become increasingly recognized as potentially causing chronic kidney disease. It is an added risk factor for poor oral health. People who need to undergo hemodialysis may have advanced periodontal disease which in turn can lead to jawbone loss. These patients often receive anticoagulants which increase the risk of their gums bleeding.
Dental implant dentists who treat patients with chronic kidney disease are being advised to look out for dry mouth and for a condition called parotitis. This is a condition resulting in inflammation in one or more of the major saliva glands.
Often people with kidney disease will have altered saliva chemistry that can result in increased dental calculus or tartar. Thus, they are more likely to suffer from tooth loss, overcrowding, malocclusion and from loose teeth.
The treatments used can also cause oral health problems. To further complicate things, it’s estimated that many have bone disorders. Despite this, it’s been found that the alveolar bone or the jawbone is generally still fine for dental implants.
Some dentists may avoid treating people with this condition due to the increased risks. Yet, a new medical paper published in the International Journal of Oral Science has proposed guidelines for practitioners to follow.
In addition to consulting a nephrologist, the paper recommends dental implant dentists thoroughly review their patient’s medical history. This includes their history of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
In addition, they recommend a complete blood count and measuring bleeding times and the implant surgery be carried out on the day after hemodialysis. This can help to minimize the risk of bleeding.
After the surgery is completed, dental implant maintenance is particularly important for patients with chronic kidney disease. These precautions can easily be carried out by an experienced and skilled dental implant dentist who already takes extensive precautions when evaluating patients for surgery. They will use the most up-to-date techniques available today.
Using Computer Guided Surgery During Implant Placement
One particular technique that can be helpful is computer guided surgery. This is increasingly being used by dental implant dentists wishing to provide their patients with the very best treatment.
With this technique, patients have a cone beam CT scan in addition to dental x-rays prior to treatment being carried out. A cone beam scan provides detailed 3-D images of the jaws and is used to pre-plan surgery down to the very last millimeter.
The images allow a clinician to decide where best to place each dental implant, avoiding vital structures while maximizing use of available bone. Once the surgery is planned, the treatment plan is converted into a detailed stent that is used during oral surgery. This is used to accurately replicate the plan, greatly minimizing room for error. Often, it’s possible to use what’s called computer guided flap-less surgery.
This is where implants are inserted directly through the gum tissue eliminating the need to make incisions into the gums to expose the underlying bone. This technique can be very useful when treating patients with medical problems. This is because it reduces the risk of infection and bleeding, plus, healing is quicker and smoother.
Is It Worth Having Implant Surgery When You Have Medical Problems?
It can seem as if there is a lot to consider for implant surgery without throwing medical problems into the mix.
With this treatment being worthwhile, should you consider another way to replace missing teeth?
There are lots of advantages in having dental implants. This treatment can provide a long-term solution for tooth loss and many people have their implants for life. With dental implants, you receive stable teeth that make it easy to eat almost anything you like.
It’s easier to maintain good nutrition which in turn can help protect your general health. This could be invaluable if you have medical issues and know you have problems eating properly.
Then there are the improvements to your general sense of well-being and self-confidence. Tooth loss can be quite debilitating and many people feel self-conscious about smiling or socializing with others and will avoid sharing meals.
Implant supported teeth look extremely good. Especially as a skilled dental implant dentist will make sure they function properly and provide excellent aesthetic results, complementing your appearance.
If you do have chronic kidney disease or any other medical problems and are suffering from tooth loss, it’s worth investigating the possibility of dental implants.
Try to see a dentist who specializes in placing dental implants as they are more likely to have the knowledge required to properly assess your condition. They can give you an honest opinion as to whether dental implants will help you and they can discuss any possible complications. Once you know the pros and cons and possible risks, you can make an informed decision about whether to go ahead.