There is a lot to think about when it comes to dental implants. This tooth-replacement treatment is an effective way to revitalize your smile and restore the ability to chew. The process can take several months, and the recovery can be lengthy. As you learn more about this procedure, you can make the right decision…
Are Dental Implants an Option for Immunocompromised Patients?
While dental implant placement can often effectively replace missing teeth, there is a surgical procedure involved. This may be problematic for some patients. For instance, a person who is immunocompromised may not be a good candidate for dental implantssurgery due to their inability to fight off infections or diseases.
Although dental implants can replace missing teeth, this procedure is not right for everyone, especially those for whom surgery is not recommended in general. In this article, learn more about immunocompromised patients and why dental implants may not be a good choice for them.
Dental implants for an immunocompromised patient
This information can be especially useful for someone who is immunocompromised but has lost teeth and is considering dental implant replacement.
What does immunocompromised mean?
Immunocompromised means that a patient has a weakened immune system. This internal bodily system is responsible for protecting the body. When one is immunocompromised, it means that their immune system is unable to fight off diseases and infections as effectively as in most people. Some immunocompromised patients have immune systems that are completely unable to function, while others are just less effective to varying degrees of severity.
Are dental implants an option for someone who is immunocompromised?
In short, no. However, there are some details that come along with this answer. It is not a good idea for someone who is immunocompromised to receive dental implants because surgery is required for the placement of them. When surgery occurs, a person is likely going under the knife, meaning incisions will be made that create open wounds.
Someone who is immunocompromised may not be able to fight off any infections that occur during the healing process. Also, during the surgery, the open wounds will be exposed, which makes the entire mouth prone to disease. Any bacteria that enter the wound during or after the procedure may cause an infection that an immunocompromised body may not be able to fight off.
Being immunocompromised puts the entire body at constant risk of infections and diseases, which if untreated can result in even further damage. Adding a surgical procedure into the equation just makes the patient even more at risk for health problems.
What are alternative treatments?
An immunocompromised individual may want to consult with a dentist about alternatives to dental implants. Replacing teeth can be achieved through other prosthetics such as traditional dentures, which do not require surgery and therefore are unlikely to put the patient at risk as dental implant placement might. Other procedures that do not require surgical incisions may be an option as well, such as dental bridges.
Exploring dental implants
A patient who has questions about dental implant placement while being immunocompromised is advised to discuss the matter in further detail with a dentist or oral surgeon. Talking about the risks of surgery with a general physician may also be a good idea. Even if implants are not recommended, there are other tooth replacement options to explore.
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