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Can I get dental implants with advanced gum disease?

Posted by AllSmiles

I have advanced gum disease and lost 10 teeth. I fear that I am going to need all my teeth pulled and replaced with dentures or something else. Although I neglected my health, the thought of wearing dentures is unsettling. I’m 52 years old and have an active life. I read about dental implants. With advanced gum disease, is it possible to get implants instead of dentures? Thank you. Danielle from Chicago.


Thank you for your question.

Dental implants are the most effective solution for replacing missing teeth. Removable complete dentures are better than having all your teeth missing, but your chewing efficiency will reduce by at least 50%. Dentures move and slip around, making it difficult to chew well.

As you may have read, dental implants are placed in your jawbone to anchor individual teeth or a denture. Implants have several advantages:

  • Help you chew and eat normally
  • Preserve your jawbone and prevent shrinkage
  • Prevent a denture from shifting around in your mouth

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Implant overdenture - snap-on denture with the denture hovering above the implants
A snap-on denture is an implant overdenture with just two implants

If you are in good physical and oral health, you may be a good candidate for dental implants. Your history of advanced gum disease may increase the risk of unsuccessful implant surgery. And if you’ve already had jawbone loss, an implant dentist or oral surgeon will need to graft bone to anchor the implants.

Schedule a consultation with a skilled implant dentist. But you will need an exam and a 3-D CT scan for the dentist to examine your bone structure and oral anatomy. The dentist will also assess your health history. Afterward, the dentist will explain your treatment options.

Dr. Thomas J. Goebel, a family dentist in Moline, IL, sponsors this post. Dr. Goebel works closely with an oral surgeon or periodontist for implant surgery.