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Rheumatoid Arthritis And Dental Implant Risks

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If you have rheumatoid arthritis and have lost one or several of your teeth, then you may feel as though it is impossible to receive a dental implant due to your serious health issues. This is not necessarily true, though, and you may be able to receive an implant device that can restore function. Keep reading to learn about a few of the concerns that come with implantation if you have RA and learn how your dentist will help you overcome potential problems. 

Cleaning Issues

One of the most significant issues you may need to deal with involves your inability to clean your mouth as aggressively as you should. For many people with rheumatoid arthritis, it can be extremely difficult to clean the teeth and gums due to dexterity problems. However, the success of your dental implant does rest on your ability to keep the surgical area clean and free of bacteria. This will not only help to prevent infection risks, but it allows for good gum healing and uninterrupted jaw osseointegration. 

So, to help you with this sort of problem, your dentist will help to develop a cleaning routine that works best for you. This may include the use of an electronic toothbrush or a large handled tool that is made for people with dexterity issues. Instead of using regular dental floss, a water flosser may be suggested too.

To help with cleaning during the initial healing phase, you will be asked to use a liquid chlorhexidine solution. The rinse is standard for anyone who receives a dental implant, but you may be asked to use it for a bit longer to ensure that oral bacteria are completely controlled. Keep in mind that there are some drawbacks to using the rinse in the long term, like the possible staining of the teeth, so speak with your dentist about this before you continue using the solution.

Infection Risks

Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis have been shown to have an increased incidence of periodontal disease. This means that you may develop a gum infection or even a bone infection after the implant is secured. These risks may be completely separate from any sort of oral care cleaning issues that you may have. 

To reduce your risks, your oral care surgeon may advise you to stop taking medications that suppress the immune system. These may include systematic immunosuppressants as well as corticosteroid medicines that reduce immune actions as a side effect. 

In addition to a slight change in your medication routine, you may be asked to use a prophylactic oral antibiotic. You will start the medication a few days before the surgery and will continue up to two weeks afterward. 

For more information, contact companies like Gallery Dental.