Can I Get Dental Implants If I Have Gum Disease?

Jan 17, 2024 | Dental Implants

Can I Get Dental Implants if I Have Gum Disease?

Can you receive dental implants if you have gum disease? The answer, which might surprise many, is a cautious yet optimistic “yes.” Dental implants can be a viable option with the right conditions and treatments, even for those battling gum disease.

In this article, we will explore every aspect of this possibility. Despite having gum disease, you’ll learn about the specific criteria that make someone a good candidate for dental implants. We’ll talk about the necessary pre-treatments for gum disease, the risks involved, and how these factors play a crucial role in the success of dental implants.

Are you concerned that gum disease might prevent you from enjoying the benefits of dental implants? You’re not alone. Many fear that their dental issues may disqualify them from this transformative procedure. But there’s good news. With the right approach and treatment, dental implants can still be viable, even for those with gum disease.

Key Takeaways

  • If you have gum disease, you can still get dental implants, but you’ll need some special care first.
  • Before getting implants, your dentist will check your gums. If you have mild gum disease, you might just need some extra gum care. For serious gum disease, you might need more treatments like grafting.
  • Treatments for gum disease include deep cleaning, gum surgery, and sometimes antibiotics to get your mouth ready for implants.
  • Gum disease starts when plaque makes your gums angry and swollen. If not treated, it can get worse and make your teeth loose.
  • After you get implants, keep your teeth and gums clean by brushing and flossing every day. Visit your dentist regularly and try not to smoke to keep your gums happy.

Evaluating the Possibility of Dental Implants with Gum Disease

Dental implants require a strong foundation to be successful, meaning your gums must be healthy. If you have gum disease or periodontitis, this condition needs to be addressed before proceeding with dental implant surgery.

Gum disease is an infection that damages the soft tissue and bone supporting your teeth. Left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss – making dental implants more challenging.

Pre-Implant Assessment and Treatment Planning

The tooth replacement process begins with a detailed plan created by your dentist or oral surgeon, tailored to your specific needs. The initial step involves assessing the severity of your gum disease. For mild cases, treatment focused on restoring gum health is often sufficient to proceed with implants.

In situations with advanced periodontitis, more comprehensive care is required before considering dental implants. This may include procedures like grafting healthy tissue to ensure a strong foundation for future implants.

Dental professionals use their expertise to identify any risk factors that could compromise the success of dental implants. Addressing untreated gum disease is crucial, as it can lead to chronic infections and halitosis (bad breath). Resolving these issues is a vital part of the preparation process.

In situations where advanced periodontitis is present, more comprehensive care is required before considering dental implants. This may include procedures such as grafting healthy tissue to ensure a strong foundation for future implants.

Dental professionals utilize their expertise to identify any risk factors that could potentially compromise the success of dental implants. Addressing untreated gum disease is crucial, as it can lead to chronic infections and halitosis (bad breath). Resolving these issues is a vital part of the preparation process.

Treating Gum Disease Before Getting Dental Implants

There are treatments available that could help restore your oral health first so you can proceed safely with getting those much-needed replacements for missing teeth.


    • Scaling and Root Planing: This deep-cleaning procedure removes plaque and tartar below the gum line where regular brushing cannot reach.
    • Gum Surgery: In severe cases of periodontitis, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove infected tissues and repair damaged areas around the gums.
    • Antibiotics: Your dentist might prescribe antibiotics in conjunction with other treatments to combat bacterial infections causing your gum problems.
Man Checking his Gums After Periodontal Treatment

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common oral health problem that can have serious implications if left untreated. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky substance on your teeth) cause inflammation of the gums – a condition called gingivitis.

The Causes and Symptoms of Gum Disease

The primary cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene, which allows for the build-up of plaque on teeth. This buildup leads to gingivitis, characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily during brushing or flossing. Other factors contributing to gum disease include smoking, hormonal changes in women, diabetes, and certain medications.

If gingivitis isn’t treated promptly, it can advance to periodontitis – a more severe form where gums pull away from the teeth, forming infected pockets. The body’s immune system fights this infection but may break down bone and connective tissue holding your teeth in place, leading to the loss of teeth.

How Gum Disease Affects Dental Implant Success

The presence of untreated or advanced gum disease can significantly affect the stability and longevity of your dental implants.


    • The Connection Between Gum Disease and Dental Implants: Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection that damages gums and can destroy jawbone structure over time. This condition may compromise the support needed for a successful implant procedure.
    • Dental Implants in Patients With Advanced Gum Disease: In cases where gum disease has progressed extensively, leading to significant bone loss, placing dental implants becomes challenging.

The Significance of Bone Grafts in Dental Implant Treatments for Gum Disease Patients

Gum disease can cause extensive damage beyond the gums, often leading to substantial bone loss. This is problematic for dental implants, which depend on robust jawbone support for stability. In these cases, bone grafting becomes a crucial step in the implant process. This technique rebuilds the jawbone, providing a firm foundation necessary for implant placement. Essentially, bone grafting revitalizes the jawbone, making it capable of securely supporting new dental implants.

Understanding Bone Health in Implant Dentistry

The roots of natural teeth play a vital role in maintaining jawbone health by providing stimulation through everyday actions like chewing. However, with tooth loss, particularly due to gum disease, this stimulation ceases, leading to bone deterioration. Dental implants serve a dual purpose in this context—not only do they replace missing teeth, but they also help preserve bone structure by providing the same kind of stimulation as natural tooth roots. However, if gum disease has significantly eroded the jawbone, a bone graft may be necessary.

Osseointegration, the process where dental implants integrate with the bone, is crucial for the implant’s longevity, potentially lasting many years with proper care. Without a strong bone foundation, the risk of implant failure increases.

Addressing Severe Gum Disease Impacts

In severe cases of periodontitis, the damage extends to both the gums and the jawbone. If left untreated, this persistent infection can lead to tooth loss and complicate future dental restorations. Fortunately, with procedures like bone grafting, oral surgeons can address these issues. This treatment, followed by well-planned implant placement after healing, offers hope even in advanced stages of gum disease.

Ensuring Success After Bone Grafting

To ensure the success of dental implants following bone grafting, a rigorous oral hygiene routine is paramount. This includes brushing twice daily and regular dental check-ups to monitor the health of the implants and the surrounding tissues. This ongoing vigilance is crucial to prevent issues like plaque buildup from jeopardizing the restored structure.

Young woman holding mouthwash and electric toothbrush

Maintaining Your Gums Healthy After Getting Dental Implants

If you want dental implants to last, it’s essential to prioritize good oral hygiene practices. The success of dental implant surgery depends largely on the health of your gums pre-implantation and maintaining this post-surgery.


    • Daily oral hygiene: Brush twice daily using fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once per day to remove plaque buildup around your gums and teeth.
    • Routine check-ups: Regular visits to your dentist will allow early detection and treatment if any signs of receding gums or infections appear after getting dental implants.
    • Avoid smoking: Smoking weakens your immune system, making it harder for you to fight off bacterial infections like those caused by plaque accumulation around the gums. CDC reports that smokers have twice the risk for gum disease compared with nonsmokers.
    • Eat healthily: A balanced diet rich in vitamins C and D can help improve your body’s ability to fight off infections and maintain healthy gums.

Securing Your Smile: Embracing the Future with Dental Implants

In conclusion, even if you’re facing the challenges of gum disease, the path to a confident smile with dental implants is still open. Remember, the success of dental implants hinges on the health of your gums and the strength of your jawbone. Through careful assessment and necessary treatments like deep cleaning or bone grafting, you can prepare your mouth for this transformative procedure. Embracing diligent oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups post-implantation is crucial to ensure the longevity of your new smile.

Your journey towards dental implants, despite gum disease, is a testament to modern dentistry’s ability to overcome obstacles and provide solutions that restore not only your smile but also your confidence and quality of life. With the right care and commitment, dental implants can offer a durable and aesthetically pleasing solution, giving you every reason to smile brightly for years to come.

Take the First Step Towards Your New Smile

Are you considering dental implants but are concerned about gum disease? At New Leaf Rohnert Park, we specialize in turning dental challenges into success stories. Our team of experts is ready to guide you through every step, from initial consultation to post-implant care, ensuring your journey towards a healthier smile is smooth and successful.

Don’t let gum disease hold you back from the smile you deserve. Call us today at (707) 586-1549 or click the button below to Request an Appointment. Your new smile awaits!

Eddie Kuo, DDS

Eddie Kuo, DDS

Owner @ New Leaf Rohnert Park

Professional Degrees

University of California at Davis – BS in Biological Sciences with emphasis in Neurology, Physiology, Behaviors

University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, Doctorate of Dental Surgery

State University of New York at Buffalo – General Practice Residency at Erie County Medical Center

Front Office Staff On Phone Taking Appointment

Come Join Our Dental Family

Do you have a toothache that just won’t go away? Does seeing a dentist give you anxiety and feel uneasy? Are you looking for a dentist that puts your needs first?

At New Leaf Rohnert Park, our team of dental professionals understands that a trip to the dentist is not on anyone’s top list of things to do. However, we know the importance of quality dental care and what it means to your smile. With high-quality, experienced staff and cutting-edge technology, our team works with you to create an individualized treatment plan that fits your budget and allows you to put your best smile forward.

Schedule an appointment today and let us help you achieve good oral health and a beautiful smile.

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