Dental Implants: Medicines That May Compromise Jaw Bone Healing

If you have discussed dental implantation with your dentist or oral surgeon, then you probably already know that there is a lengthy healing process involved after the surgery is over. Bone healing is essential during the process, and the surgeon will ask you to take antibiotics to help with this. The professional may also ask you to stay away from cigarettes and alcohol that affect your immune system and the strength of your bones. Surprisingly, you may need to stop taking certain medications as well. A few examples of prescriptions that can affect bone healing after dental implantation are listed below.

Biophosphate Medicines

If you have started to go through menopause or if your physician is concerned about osteoporosis in your family, then you may have been asked to start on biophosphate medications. Biophosphate medicines are oral or IV prescriptions that help to stop bone loss. They do this by affecting the osteoclasts that sit within the bone tissues. These cells allow minerals to be lost while osteoblasts build bone mass. This helps to keep bone loss from exceeding bone formation.

Unfortunately, biophosphate medications make it difficult for bone matter to remodel itself properly after trauma. In some cases, biophosphates have even been linked to jaw necrosis after surgical procedures like dental implantation. It is best to stop using oral biophosphate medications for several months before your dental implant surgery. If you use IV medicines, then postpone your transfusion until your oral surgeon indicates that full bone healing or oseointegration has occurred.

What Should You Take Instead?

If you do not take biophosphate medications, then it is possible that bone loss will increase. This may mean that the bone around the dental implant will not be strong and dense. You can try to prevent this by filling your diet with essential minerals that are needed to build dense bone material.  

Calcium is one of these vital nutrients so eat broccoli, cheese, spinach, and soybeans. Also, think about taking a calcium carbonate or calcium citrate supplement. Sit out in the sun for about 15 minutes a day so your body can produce enough vitamin D. Phosphorous is needed for strong bones too, so make sure to eat salmon, nuts, beef, tofu, and cheese.

Anticoagulant Prescriptions

Anticoagulants are drugs that stop the blood from clotting as regularly as it normally would. The medicines stop blood clots from forming within the blood vessels so that organs and tissues can receive as much oxygen as they need. The anticoagulants help reduce heart attack and stroke risks. You likely take these medications if you have a family history of strokes, diabetes or high blood pressure.

Your oral surgeon may ask you to stop taking anticoagulant medication before your dental implant surgery to reduce bleeding concerns. Slow clotting means that gum wounds will stay open for an extended period of time and blood loss may be an issue. You also should stop the medication after your surgery to reduce bone healing problems. Anticoagulants reduce your body's ability to form new bone tissues. Low mineral density can be an issue as well and this can lead to loose dental implant roots.

What Should You Take Instead?

If you decide to stop taking anticoagulants for a short period of time, consider taking aspirin on a daily basis. Aspirin is considered an anti-platelet medication that stops platelets from sticking together and forming clots within the arteries and veins. If high blood pressure is a concern, then think about exercising and reducing your sodium intake. Increasing the potassium in your diet and eating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can help to control your blood pressure as well. So can reducing daily stress.

Dental implants can work well to replace missing teeth, but you need to understand that the jaw must heal after your operation. This may mean stopping medications that can affect the way that the bone can form around the implant root. For more information, contact a specialist like Advanced Dental Techniques.