Osteoporosis And Your Dental Implants

Posted on: 20 June 2019

Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease that causes your bones to weaken and thin. It can raise the risk for fractures, and while it is most common in menopausal women as a result of declining estrogen levels, men can get it too. Osteoporosis and its treatment can cause problems with your jawbone, and because of this, your dental implant sites will need to be carefully monitored by your dentist. Here are some ways osteoporosis and its treatment can affect your dental implants and what you can do about them:

Changes In Jaw Size

Osteoporosis can cause bone thinning of the spine, hips, and knees, as well as inside your mouth. When your jawbone is affected by osteoporosis, it may change in size and shape. If you have dental implants, the underlying bone may fracture or cave in around the implant rod as a result of microfractures.

While having osteoporosis does not disqualify you from getting dental implants, you will need to consult with your physician and dentist prior to your dental procedure. Your dentist will carefully review your dental X-rays to determine if your jawbone is stable enough for dental implants, while your physician may recommend that you undergo a bone density test to evaluate your risk for fractures. If osteoporosis is extensive, you may experience dental implant failure, and because of this, your implants may need to be removed. 


Bisphosphonates are medications used in the management of osteoporosis. While these medications may be of little use in reversing existing bone damage caused by osteoporosis, they may slow its progression. Bisphosphonates may raise the risk for a rare jaw disorder known as jaw osteonecrosis.

If you take bisphosphonates to treat your osteoporosis and notice ulcerations inside your mouth, or if your jawbone is exposed, call your doctor right away. He or she will discontinue the medication and may refer you to a maxillofacial surgeon for further evaluation and treatment.

If your jawbone becomes necrotic as a result of osteonecrosis, your dental implants will need to be removed. If they stay in, you may be at risk for further jaw destruction and severe infection. If you already have osteonecrosis of the jaw and are considering dental implants, your dentist will explain why this disease may be contraindicated for an implant procedure. While bisphosphonates are commonly prescribed for osteoporosis, the physician may also prescribe them for other diseases such as Paget's disease and a hematological malignancy known as multiple myeloma.

Treatment for osteonecrosis of the jaw includes antibiotics, antimicrobial oral rinses, and surgical intervention. Once your osteonecrosis has been successfully treated, your dentist may approve you for dental implants.

He or she may consult with your primary physician before your implant procedure begins to make sure that your jawbone is healthy enough to effectively anchor the implant screws. Ironically, dental implants can improve the condition of your jaw because the implants screws trigger a stimulatory reaction, which can help improve circulation while increasing bone density. 

If you have osteoporosis or are taking bisphosphonates to manage it, consult with both your physician and dentist before getting your dental implants. Both of these healthcare providers will need to make sure that your oral cavity is healthy and that your jawbone is strong enough to effectively support your implants.

If your doctors determine that your jawbone density is low, or if you have jaw necrosis, you may be referred to an oral surgeon for further evaluation and treatment. With early medical intervention, osteonecrosis of the jaw can be reversed so that you can enjoy the many benefits of dental implants. 

Reach out to your dentist today for more information about osteoporosis and dental implants.