Dental implants are a common way to improve a person’s smile both aesthetically and medically. However, like all invasive procedures, it comes with risks and possible side effects. Swedish researchers recently identified the unexpected prevalence of one of these side effects: bone loss.
Contrary to what dental professionals previously believed, more than a quarter of dental implant patients experience bone loss. (Dental implants are screwed into living bone to anchor the prosthetic.) The study examined hundreds of x-rays, finding that the more implants a patient had, the more bone loss they had in the jaw area.
One factor in particular exacerbated the problem: smoking. Patients who were known to smoke showed more bone loss than those who don’t. However, perceptible bone loss did occur in patients who aren’t smokers.
“It’s important to examine the tissues around implants in the same way as we examine the tissues around teeth,” said study author Christer Fransson. “In that way we can notice early signs of inflammation and treat it before the bone loss has any serious consequences.”
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