My dentist wants me to schedule an appointment with a periodontist for advanced gum disease. After 30 years with no dental insurance, 10 of my teeth have fallen off. My bone has shrunk, and my gums are low. My jawbone is getting narrower. My dentist says that my case is one of the worst she has seen in her 12 years of practicing, so the office lady calls me weekly to tell me to schedule the appointment. I will do it, but I am nervous right now. I have dental insurance now, so that helps. How long might I wait for dental implants if I have gum disease? I want an implant denture. Thanks much. – Leanna
If you have gum disease, your wait for an implant denture depends on these factors:
- Your general health
- Your history of advanced gum disease
- The degree of bone loss
- Your treatment plan from the periodontist to stop gum disease
- Whether you need a bone graft
Improved chewing efficiency and jawbone health are two ways you will benefit from an implant overdenture.
Dental implants are the optimal choice for replacing missing teeth. Your chewing efficiency will decrease by 50 percent if you choose removable dentures because they slide around as you chew.
You are already experiencing bone shrinkage. An implant overdenture will stimulate your jawbone and prevent shrinkage. If it continues, your jawbone will no longer support your facial muscles, and you will experience facial collapse.
A periodontist specializes in gum health. Schedule an appointment with the periodontist to thoroughly evaluate your physical and oral health. You can expect a 3D CT scan to measure your bone volume and determine whether you are a candidate for dental implants.
Regardless of the treatment options for replacing missing teeth, your gums must be healthy first. Otherwise, they will neither support a removal denture nor an implant overdenture. A periodontist can coordinate your care with a prosthodontist (tooth replacement specialist) to give you a natural-looking denture for the implants. A periodontist will help you control gum disease and prevent it from further loosening your teeth and destroying your jawbone.
San Antonio dentists Dr. Gilberto Tostado and Dr. Karina Acuña sponsor this post.