I have been looking forward to getting dental implants the whole time the quarantine was going on. Now that my dentist has opened up and I can finally get my consult, he is refusing to give them to me because he doesn’t think my gums are healthy enough. First, shouldn’t he have mentioned this at my checkups? Second, what do my gums have to do with any of this? Third, would a periodontist be willing to give me implants seeing as they work with gums?
It can be quite disheartening to have something you’ve been looking forward to for a while quashed. Let’s start with your first question. Should your dentist have mentioned your gum disease at your checkups? Absolutely. While some dentists are mostly your bread and butter type of dentists who only focus on cavities, it is also important they check on other important health issues such as gum disease, teeth grinding, and oral cancer screenings. If yours isn’t, you will be better served elsewhere. Though, it is possible the gum disease is fairly new and he’s just now seeing it. If that is the case, it is actually good news. That means it will be much simpler to treat.
That leads me to your second question. What do your gums have to do with it? In reality, they have a great impact on your being a good dental implant candidate. If you look at the image I posted above, you will see that both the tooth and the dental implant have bone surrounding them. That bone is the structure that helps retain both your teeth and any dental implants. The way gum disease fits in is how it affects your bone. It begins to eat away at that bone structure and support. If your gum disease advances enough, your teeth can literally just start coming out.
Your third question, Will a periodontist give you dental implants? While I’m sure you could find both a dentist and a periodontist to give you those implants you want. The problem with that is, the dental implants will fail. You won’t even know it is because there wasn’t enough bone. They’ll still have their fee and you’re left with no teeth and no recourse. It is much better to have a dentist tell you, “Let’s fix this first.” than to just take your money and walk away to the bank laughing.
One thing a periodontist can do for you is to treat your gum disease more efficiently and get you to the point where you can actually get the dental implants you want.
This blog is brought to you by Atlanta Periodontist Dr. David Pumphrey.