Can You Get Dental Implants If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Dec 02, 2015, by Dr. Becky Coats

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the less common forms of arthritis. It’s an autoimmune disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your joint tissues. It can lead to long-term degeneration of the joints, and the disease as well as its treatment do cause concerns for dental implant patients.

Fortunately, though, most people with rheumatoid arthritis are still good candidates for dental implants.

Can You (Or Someone Else) Clean Your Teeth?

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Dental implants have a very high success rate, and they require little in the way of maintenance. But in order to be successful, they do require the same or better oral hygiene than your natural teeth. Otherwise, infections around the dental implant can damage bone and cause the implant to fail, similar to the way that gum disease leads to tooth loss.

Since rheumatoid arthritis can make it hard to hold a toothbrush and clean your teeth properly, this can be a concern. But if you can clean your teeth properly or if you have people assisting you who can make sure your teeth are being cleaned properly, then you are a good candidate for dental implants.

What Medications Are You Taking?

Rheumatoid arthritis medications can also make it more likely that dental implants might fail. Because rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, many of the medications work to suppress your immune system. This can also increase the risk of infection around your dental implants.

Some rheumatoid arthritis medications also affect your bones. Over time, these medications may lead to reduced bone density in your jaw, which might mean that your bone can’t support dental implants. They might also make it hard for your bone to heal around your implants.

A Team Approach

The best success in dental implants is achieved when we’re all working as a team. Your part on this team is to tell us about any health conditions or medications that might affect your dental implants.

Our part is to perform a thorough exam and try to find the approach that will work best for you. Often, this is dental implants. We will talk to you about oral hygiene and help you find techniques that work for you. We will also talk to your doctor about your medications. In some cases, it’s best if you stop taking some medications for a short time, but that’s at your doctor’s discretion.

Even with rheumatoid arthritis, most people are candidates for dental implants, but we can’t tell for sure until we’ve seen you in our office. To schedule an appointment with a Grapevine implant dentist, please call Grapevine Dental Care at  (817) 481-6888 .