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Bone Loss May Accompany Dental Implants

Smokers suffer more deterioration than nonsmokers, researcher says

TUESDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Bone loss around dental implants occurs in about one in four patients, a rate far higher than previously thought, a Swedish researcher says.

Thesis author Christer Fransson analyzed the X-rays of more than 600 people who received dental implants, and found that 28 percent of the patients had lost some amount of supporting bone around their implants. The more implants patients had, the more likely they were to have lost supporting bone.

Smokers had more bone loss than non-smokers. The analysis of the X-rays also revealed that inflammation was common in soft tissues surrounding an implant with bone loss.

"Contrary to what we had previously assumed, the bone loss in these patients was not linear, but instead accelerated with time," Fransson, a consultant dental surgeon at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, said in a news release from the school. "This is a new discovery that shows just how important it is to detect and treat bone loss around implants at an early stage."

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

More information

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons has more about dental implants.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University of Gothenburg, news release, January 2010

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