Dental Implants And Cancer Treatments

If you have recently had cancer treatments and have also lost a tooth, then you may be looking at oral restoration and your options. While some dentists and doctors indicate that it is not wise to have an implant secured after radiation and chemotherapy, others do agree that it is a good choice. Keep reading to learn about some factors that are considered when accessing implantation.

Radiation Location

If you have gone through cancer treatments, then you likely know that many of the different options available to you are highly selective and pinpointed. This means that your cancer will be targeted precisely and with a high degree of accuracy. While this is true, radiation will cause a degree of cellular damage across the treatment area. This damage is often long-lasting and can affect the bones nearby, making them brittle and weak.

So, if your cancer was in your head or facial region, then you may not be able to receive a dental implant. Your dentist can inspect the bone through x-ray imaging and density scans to see if the bone is strong enough to withstand the implant surgery and the subsequent healing period.

Keep in mind that if you do decide to go through the implant process without heeding your dentist or oral surgeon's advice, then you will be far more likely to develop something called osteonecrosis where the jaw bone dies and the implant fails. Also, you should consider the location of your radiation treatment if you have received one recently. Older treatment methods exposed larger areas to radiation and cellular damage may be more widespread, which would discourage a dentist from giving you an implant.

Time Since Treatment

Cancer treatments take an enormous toll on the body. The good news is that the human body can heal over time and much of the cellular damage you withstand can be undone. This does take time though, and it can take months for the body to recover. So, if you want an implant, then your best bet is to wait for at least a year or more after your last chemotherapy treatment. This way, your body has a chance to recover and the osseointegration process will not be as lengthy.

Keep in mind that you should also wait until your physician informs you that you are free of cancer for at least six months. You are more likely to be free of complications due to the start of new cancer treatments if this is the case.

If you want to know whether dental implants are right for you after going through cancer treatments, speak with an oral surgeon such as Centre Family Dentistry.