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can you get dental implants if you have gum disease sydney

Can You Get Dental Implants If You Have Gum Disease?

Dental implants are among the most popular restorative dental procedures available because they improve chewing functionality and look natural. Five years after a procedure, 99% of dental implant patients report satisfaction with their restoration. But can people with gum disease have the same positive outcome with dental implants?

While you can get dental implants if you have gum disease, it may take longer to prepare the implant site. Dental implants consist of an anchoring screw that goes into your jaw and gums.

As long as your jaw is strong enough and there is no active infection in the gums, you can get dental implants. To prepare the dental implant site, you may need bone grafting and periodontitis treatment.


Dental Implant Procedure Overview

To know how gum disease can affect dental implants, you need to understand the dental implant procedure. Dental implants use an anchoring screw, an abutment, and a dental crown for a single tooth replacement or several implants and a dental bridge for multi-teeth replacements.

success implants gum problems sydneyThe procedure begins with your dentist assessing whether they should replace a tooth. Typically, teeth that are missing, severely cracked, decayed, or unsavable qualify for replacement. Your dentist will then evaluate your jawbone. The jawbone must be dense and thick enough to accommodate the long anchoring screw. 

Dental implant surgery takes around an hour from start to finish, depending on the complexity of treatment. Your dentist administers local anaesthesia, so you are comfortable during the surgery, then incises the gums to expose the bone. They then make a hole for the screw, insert the screw, and suture the gums closed. 

After surgery, your jawbone fuses with the anchoring screw. This is a biological process where the bone grows around the screw threads. Dentists use titanium screws because they are biocompatible and quickly osseointegrate. They take up to twelve weeks to anchor into the jaw bone.  

After the osseointegration is complete, your dentist outfits the screw with an abutment to which a dental crown or bridge can attach. The dental prosthetic is customised to match your natural tooth colour and fit your bite. 


Gum Disease Considerations

Gum disease, also known as gingivitis and periodontitis, causes multiple symptoms that complicate a dental implant procedure. Gum disease not only leads to tooth replacement, but it can also add additional steps to tooth replacement procedures. Gum infections and bone disintegration are the primary consequences of gum disease that complicate dental implants.  



  • Gum infections

Gum disease is caused by plaque and tartar around the tooth. This calculus irritates the gum tissues causing gingivitis, characterised by inflammation and tenderness. However, once the bacteria from the plaque and tartar spread to the gums, it causes an infection called periodontitis. 

Periodontitis can lead to an abscess, a potentially life-threatening condition without treatment.

An active gum infection that manifests in a tooth abscess must be treated before a dental implant procedure. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket near the root of the tooth. Antibiotics may be necessary, along with draining the abscess. If the tooth is going to be replaced, the dentist will likely extract the tooth for easy access to the abscess. 


  • Jawbone disintegration

Advanced gum disease breaks down the jawbone. Since dental implants need a strong, healthy jaw bone to correctly anchor, gum disease-caused breakdown needs to be addressed before the dental implant procedure. Bone augmentation procedures like bone grafts and guided bone regeneration prepare the jaw for dental implants.


Can You Get Dental Implants if You Have Gum Disease

With the assistance of bone augmentation procedures and periodontal cleanings, a dentist can safely continue with dental implants. After five years, the implant success rate in people with gum disease is about 89%

dental implants and gingivitis sydneyThe studies are even more promising for people who receive a bone graft before their implant. Jawbone ridge augmentation is a surgical procedure that uses a bone graft to fill out an area where a tooth once was.

It is necessary when the jawbone is not thick enough to accommodate a dental implant. It takes about four to twelve months to heal, depending on what bone grafting material the dentist uses.

The result of ridge augmentation on implant success was a 3-year success rate of 96%. While the 96% statistic comes from a small sample size, it shows that bone grafts and ridge augmentation help people with gum disease get dental implants.

To ensure the continued stability of your dental implant, you must follow a consistent dental hygiene routine. If you have a history of gum disease, you must brush and floss around the implant twice daily. However, you need to take care not to irritate the gum tissue. A Waterpik or soft-interdental brush are gentle alternatives to standard floss for  cleaning between teeth around the implant. Semi-annual dental appointments are necessary to remove any built-up tartar that can lead to gum infections if left untreated. 


Ask Your Dentist About Dental Implants Today

So, can you get dental implants if you have gum disease? Yes. However, it is crucial to start the process early to allow time for periodontal therapy before you receive the implants. Contact your dentist to find out if dental implants are right for you.

At No Gaps Dental, we provide comfortable and hygienic dental services. From hand sanitisers to masks, we take all protective measures to ensure the safety of our patients and dentists. 

We use a hand sanitiser before and after every procedure, and our hand sanitiser has 60% ethanol and 70% isopropanol, effectively killing many airborne viruses.


Contact us on (02) 8806 0227 with any questions about our hygiene protocols and learn more about the dental services we provide.




Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. 






Implant success and survival rates in daily dental practice: 5-year results of a non-interventional study using CAMLOG SCREW-LINE implants with or without platform-switching abutments 


Titanium–Tissue Interface Reaction and Its Control With Surface Treatment 


Osseointegration: An Update 


Gingivitis and periodontitis: Overview 


Outcomes of dental implant treatment in patients with generalized aggressive periodontitis: a systematic review 


Ridge augmentation in implant dentistry 


Prognosis of single tooth implants following alveolar ridge preservation with two recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 delivery systems

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