Dental Implants Safe for Medically Complex Patients

November 10, 2007

Dental Implants Safe for Medically Complex Patients 

More Trials Needed To Expand Evidence Base


LAS VEGAS, Nov. 10, 2007 – As the population ages, the nation’s implant dentists will treat increasing numbers of patients living longer with serious health conditions, according to research presented at the American Academy Dentistry annual scientific meeting.   Although no significant problems have been reported when high-risk patients receive implants, a leading dental researcher said that controlled trials and protocols are needed to better address the oral health needs of those with osteoporosis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 


“There isn’t much evidence and the protocols are slim to guide practitioners performing dental implant procedures on older patients with serious health conditions,” said Michael Glick, DMD, professor of oral medicine, Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health.  “Although we are confident about performing dental surgery on higher risk individuals, there is a need for a more robust knowledge base to coincide with our overall focus on practicing evidence-based implant dentistry.”


Glick told AAID attendees that by 2030 some 70 million Americans will be over the age of 65 and many will have osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease and other health problems, which may pose treatment challenges for implant dentists. 


“As the elderly population grows rapidly, dentists will see more complex cases because those with serious health problems will be functioning well enough to visit their dentists and undergo procedures they need and want,” said Glick.  “Since this population will comprise a larger percentage of the average dental practice in future years, we are obliged to conduct randomized, controlled multi-center trials to expand our knowledge and develop tighter protocols and criteria for success.”


Glick said one medical condition that can hamper outcomes of implant procedures is osteoporosis.  “Bone modeling deficiencies always are a complicating factor for implant surgery because success depends on solid bone foundations for implant insertions,” he said.  “The literature shows the failure rate of implants in patients with osteoporosis is low, however, we shouldn’t be complacent about acquiring more clinical data on these patients since this group is expected to increase significantly in the next 10 to 20 years.”


About AAID

Established in 1951, AAID is the oldest implant organization in the world and the only one offering implant credentials protected by federal court decisions.  Its membership exceeds 3,500 and includes general dentists, oral surgeons, periodontists and prosthodontists from the United States and 40 other countries.


AAID offers a rigorous implant dentistry credentialing program which requires at least  300 hours of post-doctoral instruction in implant dentistry, passing a comprehensive exam, and presenting to a group of examiners successful cases of different types of implants. 


For more information about the AAID and its credentialed members, log onto the website at or call the AAID at 312-335-1550.








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