Can Patients with Heart Conditions Get Dental Implants?
Updated: Jul 29
If you have a heart condition and are considering dental implants, you may be wondering “can heart patients get dental implants?” Whether you’ve been diagnosed recently or years ago, there are several things to consider before getting dental implants. The general answer to whether you can get dental implants is yes. However, we recommend talking with your cardiologist to confirm that it’s safe based on your specific heart condition.
Dr. Bebeau, Arizona’s leading oral surgeon at Oral Maxillofacial Surgery of Phoenix, offers dental implants with his specialization in All-on-4 implants. While in his care, he takes the right precautions according to what your cardiologist recommends, making sure you can get the smile you want without putting your health at risk.
Consult with Your Cardiologist
Before scheduling an appointment with Dr. Bebeau, you should make an appointment with your cardiologist to discuss whether you can go forward with the procedure. During the consultation, your doctor will talk about the risks you may face, run tests, and perhaps prescribe you some antibiotics.
Risks for Heart Patients Getting Dental Implants
While there are risks to any procedure, when patients have a heart condition there are certain elevated risks. That’s why we take great caution and pay attention to our patients’ needs throughout the procedure. One of the most common risks among patients with heart conditions when going to the dentist is an infection called bacterial endocarditis.
This infection can develop any time your mouth bleeds because bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause an infection that may damage your heart. So even regular teeth cleanings can put heart patients at risk. Luckily, most heart patients can take antibiotics prescribed by their doctor to prevent any infections. If you have a heart condition but can’t take antibiotics, we recommend that you talk with your doctor to see if there are other options available to you.
Another risk heart patients face when getting dental implants is experiencing side effects from anesthesia. During the dental implant procedure, Dr. Bebeau uses a local anesthetic to numb the area(s) where you are receiving the implant. The hormone epinephrine is added to anesthesia, including local anesthetics, to help constrict blood vessels to prevent the blood from pushing away the anesthesia that helps numb the area.
This can pose a risk to heart patients because anytime blood flow is restricted it increases the likelihood of more severe side effects. Most patients only experience minor side effects like increased heart rate and blood pressure, but you may not experience any at all. When a local anesthetic is applied correctly with the right dosage, the risk is very low.
It’s important to remember that just because these risks exist, it doesn’t mean they will occur, but we do want you to be aware of them. We recommend talking to your cardiologist about these risks so that they can give you more information and ease any concerns you may have.
Can Dental Implants Cause Heart Problems?
We’ve discussed what precautions to take if you have a heart condition, now we’ll talk about whether dental implants can cause heart problems. According to a 2010 study, many people used to believe that minor dental work like extractions or implants increased the risk of a heart attack, regardless of the patient’s heart health, because of increased inflammation. While there is still some risk, heart problems caused by dental work are very uncommon today because of the dental industry’s advancements.
If you don’t have any heart problems, then dental work, including dental implants, can actually protect you from heart disease. For example, a study from Tulane University found that losing teeth later in life can increase the risk of heart disease and that replacing missing teeth with implants can counteract the effects of tooth loss such as jaw bone deterioration and pain while eating.
Heart Health Conscious Dental Implants in Phoenix
If you’re a heart patient who’s considering whether you can get dental implants, we hope this information helped ease some of your concerns. If your doctor has approved you to get dental implants then we hope to see you soon! Please contact us if you have any questions or would like more information about our services. Here at Oral Maxillofacial Surgery of Phoenix, we’re here to help you get the smile you want with your heart’s health in mind.