Medication can affect the success or failure of dental implants, which is why dentists need to know which prescription meds patients are taking. Since approximately 72 percent of women on birth control use hormonal contraceptives, it's natural for them to wonder what impact the medicine will have on their implant procedures. Generally, it shouldn't have any effect, but here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Some Birth Control Can Increase Susceptibility to Gum Disease
Hormonal birth control will flood the body with estrogen and/or progesterone, depending on the type used. These hormones mimic those produced by the body during pregnancy, preventing conception by making the womb think there's already a baby growing inside.
Unfortunately, the increase in hormones also affects other parts of the body, including the mouth. In particular, the excess estrogen can cause more blood to flow to the gums, causing the gums to become more sensitive and inflamed. This can may lead to swelling, bleeding, and a higher susceptibility to plaque and bacteria. In short, birth control can make users more likely to develop gum disease.
The good news is many contraceptives in use today are made with lower doses of estrogen and progesterone than those produced in the past. So, the likelihood of developing these symptoms have dropped significantly.
Additionally, even if a patient were to acquire gingivitis or periodontal disease, the dentist could treat it so it wouldn't negatively impact the installation of dental implants. However, the implant procedure may take longer to complete because you would have to wait until the gums were healed enough to proceed.
Antibiotics May Make Birth Control Less Effective
Another issue that may come up in connection to dental implants is you may be required to take antibiotics for a while to prevent an oral infection from setting in. The problem here is certain antibiotics interfere with the effectiveness of the contraceptive by decreasing hormone levels, which can heighten the risk you'll experience an unplanned pregnancy.
There are a couple of things you can do to avoid this. The easiest one is to have the dentist prescribe an antibiotic that doesn't have a negative impact on your birth control of choice. Alternatively, you can switch to a nonhormonal birth control device (e.g., IUD) permanently or at least until all your implant procedures are done.
To learn more about dental implants, contact a dentist in your area.