In this blog, we'll unravel the complex relationship between dental implants and heart disease, offering essential insights for those considering restorative dental procedures.
Missing teeth are one of the most common issues faced by American adults - and dental implants are one of the most popular options for tooth replacement. In fact, dental implants offer a variety of benefits including improving oral health, boosting self-esteem/confidence, improving nutrition/digestion, and reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
As a general rule, dental implants are safe, but if you have a heart condition, there are a few things you need to be aware of. Since this is a fairly invasive surgery, it is not without risks. In this article, we’ll explain what you need to know about dental implants and heart disease.
The first thing you should do before scheduling your dental implant surgery is to consult with your cardiologist. They will be able to evaluate your current condition and discuss the risks to determine if you can or want to move forward. In some cases, you may be prescribed prophylactic antibiotics to reduce your risk of infection.
Dental implant surgery is a fairly invasive oral surgery. Therefore, it is not without risks for anyone. However, there are some elevated risks for heart patients. One of the most common risks for heart patients is an infection known as bacterial endocarditis.
This infection can develop any time your mouth bleeds because the open wound allows bacteria to enter your bloodstream. Therefore, even a regular tooth cleaning is risky for heart patients. However, your medical provider will typically prescribe an antibiotic to reduce the risk of infection. If you are unable to take antibiotics, it is recommended that you discuss other options with your medical provider.
Another common risk for heart patients is side effects from the anesthesia. Local anesthesia is typically used to numb the implant site. Most of the time, epinephrine is also added to the anesthesia to constrict the blood vessels, so the blood doesn’t flush the anesthesia away.
This is a risk for heart patients because restricted blood flow increases the risk of severe side effects such as an increase in heart rate and elevated blood pressure. The good news is that most patients only experience minor side effects and some never experience any. When the dentist correctly administers the appropriate dosage of anesthesia, the risks are minimal.
One thing to keep in mind is that just because there are risks does not mean they will happen- you just need to be aware of them. Ideally, you should discuss the procedure with your cardiologist so that they can explain the risks and ease your concerns.
A 2010 study revealed that many people believe that dental procedures such as tooth extractions or dental implant surgery increase the risk of heart attack even in healthy patients. This is because these procedures increase inflammation in the body. While there is some risk, it is very unlikely that dental work will cause heart problems due to the advancements in dental technology.
There are a few precautions that heart patients can take to ensure that dental implant surgery is safe:
Any time that you have dental surgery, you want to work with a surgeon who has experience with high-risk patients. This will reduce your risk of complications because they know how to handle the situation.
When you are discussing your tooth replacement options, be honest with your dentist about your health conditions, medications, and lifestyle habits. This will have an impact on your treatment options.
There are two types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal. The subperiosteal implants sit on top of the jawbone instead of being implanted into the jawbone. This is a less invasive surgery, which means a shorter recovery period.
Another option is the flapless procedure for endosteal implants. This procedure involves drilling a hole into the gum and jawbone instead of cutting an incision in the gum. This reduces bleeding and post-op pain.
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