Sjögren’s syndrome is a condition that affects people’s liquid-generating glands, including the salivary glands. This often leads to dry mouth for people with this condition. Since your saliva is critical to the health of your teeth, the disorder can lead to many oral health problems, including cavities and gum disease. Often, this leads to early tooth loss, which makes people with Sjögren’s syndrome consider tooth replacement.
Unfortunately, while dental implants are the best tooth replacement in general, they might not be the best for people with Sjögren’s syndrome. The same dry mouth conditions that lead to tooth loss could potentially lead to dental implant failure. However, a new study shows that people with this condition might actually have very good long-term results with dental implants after all. This is more evidence that dental implants are effective in many more situations than we used to believe.
Long-Term Look at Implant Success
For this study, researchers looked at a series of 19 dental implant patients who had Sjögren’s syndrome. The patients received a total of 107 implants among them. These patients were followed for an average of 125 months (over 10 years!). Of the initial 107 implants, there were three failures. This means that over the ten years of the study, the overall success rate was 97.2%, comparable to that of patients without this condition. Even more importantly, the failure of these implants was related not to gum disease but to failure to integrate with the bone, a risk common to all implant patients, not related to Sjögren’s syndrome.
In addition to reporting their own results, researchers in this study conducted a literature review to look at previous studies about patients with Sjögren’s syndrome. They found 19 studies which covered a total of 705 implants that were followed up for an average of about six years (72.5 months). Although the failure rate for these implants was higher (4.1%) in a shorter period of time, it’s still within the range of success that we might expect for healthy dental implant patients.
Most People Are Candidates for Dental Implants
This study is only the most recent in a number of studies looking at conditions we used to think made dental implants inadvisable. As with studies on diabetes, osteoporosis, and more, it reveals that our previous concern might have been unnecessary. Most people can get great results from dental implants, even if they have compromising health conditions.
However, if you want to make sure that you have the highest odds of success with your dental implants, you still need to:
- Work with an experienced dentist
- Choose a treatment plan that acknowledges limitations
- Follow home hygiene instructions
- Make regular dental checkups
Doing this can help ensure that your implants will integrate with your bone and stay healthy for years, even decades to come.
Have You Been Told You Can’t Get Dental Implants?
Many people with Sjögren’s syndrome were told in the past that dental implants weren’t a good choice for them. However, as this and other studies show, it’s possible to get great results with dental implants, even if you have Sjögren’s syndrome.
If you’ve been told in the past that you weren’t a candidate for dental implants, now might be the right time for a second opinion. Please call (614) 848-5001 today for an appointment with Columbus, OH implant dentist Dr. Mike Firouzian at Firouzian Dentistry.