Theriot Family Dental

Dental Implants and Gum Disease

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I’ve been dealing with some gum disease. I’ve also lost two teeth from severe decay. I am hoping that I can replace those teeth with dental implants. My dentist says I am at risk of losing additional teeth as well. I’ve read dentures are not a good option, even though they cost a lot less.


Dear Brandi,

Before and after facial collapseDental implants are a great choice when it comes to replacing your teeth. What you have read about dentures is correct. Not only does it reduce your chewing capacity by at least 50%, but you also lose jawbone structure. The longer you are in removable dentures the more bone structure you lose.

Eventually you will not have enough tooth structure left to retain your dentures. It also makes you look decades older than you are.

This is known as facial collapse.

This can all be prevented by having dental implants placed to anchor the dentures and signal to your body that you still need the jawbone in order to retain your teeth.

One thing that will be a hindrance for you is your gum disease. This causes bone loss as well as infection risk, both of which can lead to dental implant failure. In your place, I would focus on getting your gum disease under control to give you the best chance of having a successful outcome.

You may end up needing some bone grafting depending on how long your teeth have been without your teeth and how much bone was lost to your gum disease.

I would consider you a high-risk patient. As a result, it will be important for your to see a dentist with real expertise. Given your situation, make sure you see someone who is a Fellow with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. They have the additional training, expertise, and success rate to give you the best chance at a successful outcome.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.