Observing Early Signs of Bone Loss Around Implants

Bone loss around dental implants is far more common than previously thought, according to a study by the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gotehenburg, Swe­den. The study analyzed radio­graphs of more than 600 patients and found that 28% of patients lose some de­gree of supporting bone around their implants. The more implants a pa­tient had in the jaw, the more common it was to find loss of supporting bone. 

“Contrary to what we had previously assumed, the bone loss in these patients was not linear, but instead accelerated with time,” says consultant dental surgeon Dr. Christer Fransson, who wrote the thesis. “This is a new discovery that shows just how important it is to detect and treat bone loss around implants at an early stage.” 

Smoking is one of several factors that increase the risk of bone loss, and in this study smokers had more implants with bone loss than nonsmokers. Further, the soft tissues surrounding an im­plant with bone loss is often inflamed, according to the thesis. 

“It’s important to examine the tissues around im­plants in the same way as we examine the tissues around teeth,” says Dr. Frans­son. “In that way we can notice early signs of inflammation and treat it before the bone loss has any serious consequences.”

(Source: Science­Daily, January 13, 2010.)