Dental Implants and Rheumatoid Arthritis: What You Need to Know

October 26, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — emadental @ 8:51 pm
Elderly person holding their hand in pain.

Dental implants can represent a fresh start for many people who have lost teeth, but they come with responsibilities. Taking care of your dental implants is essential to getting the most out of them as time goes on. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you may wonder if that upkeep is possible. You may also be curious if your condition will interfere with the process of installing the implants. These are fair questions. If you’re concerned about getting dental implants with rheumatoid arthritis, here’s a quick rundown of some problems you might encounter, and how you could deal with them.

A New Kind of Flossing

Rheumatoid arthritis causes swelling in your joints, including and especially those in your hands and fingers. That can potentially impair your fine motor skills. While your dental implants themselves can’t be affected by disease, the gums they’re embedded in can, meaning you still need to brush and floss daily. You must do the latter carefully, as improper technique can cause a break in the seal between your implant and your gums, allowing bacteria to enter.

If you worry that you’ll struggle with flossing, communicate these feelings to your dentist. They’ll be able to set you up with equipment that can make it easier to clean your teeth, like floss guides and water picks. With the right tools, flossing properly should be within your grasp!

Changes to Your Medication

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease, so medications to treat it usually disrupt the body’s normal healing process. This can become a problem when it comes to dental implants. These secure themselves in the mouth via a process called osseointegration, which happens when the jawbone starts to heal. Osseointegration can’t occur or will take longer for people on these medications. Moreover, a suppressed immune system will have a harder time fighting off infection. As we’ve established, that can be a problem.

If you’re taking an immune suppressant for your rheumatoid arthritis, your dentist and your doctor may need to work out an alternate treatment plan for you. You could be switched to a medication that would allow you to heal around your new implant.

The decision as to whether to receive dental implants isn’t necessarily an easy one, especially if you have a complicated pre-existing condition. However, the difference they can make in your life can’t be overstated. Talk to your dentist about your concerns; they’ll do whatever they can to help you make that decision.

About Our Practice

At EMA Dental, you can be sure that whatever issues you may have, they’ll be taken care of. We have a team of experienced professionals, led by a prosthodontic specialist, who can walk you through every step of the process of rebuilding your smile. If you have any questions about how your rheumatoid arthritis can affect your ability to get dental implants, we can be reached at our website. You can also reach us by phone at our Northampton office at (413) 584-4900, or at our East Longmeadow location at (413) 731-8800.

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