If you have an existing medical condition, you may wonder whether you can still get dental implants. Our doctors at Burbank Periodontics specialize in teeth, bone, and gum health and can customize your care to promote your overall well-being. We will review eight medical conditions and how they can affect your ability to get dental implants.

Jawbone Loss

Your jawbone supports dental implants, so if you have bone loss, it can affect your treatment plan. Our doctors use a 3-D CT scan to assess your bone volume and determine whether it will support dental implants or if you need bone grafting. A bone graft is a procedure that uses bone harvested from your body, donor bone, synthetic bone, or animal-sourced bone to stimulate your body’s ability to grow new jawbone for dental implants. The American Academy of Periodontology lists the following benefits of a bone grafting procedure:

  • Regenerates lost bone and tissue
  • Improves your jaw shape and definition
  • Increases the long-term success of your dental implants

Gum Disease

The severity of gum disease determines when you can get dental implants. Progressive gum disease damages soft tissue and bone, but dental implants need a healthy environment to thrive. In cases of advanced gum disease, a periodontist must treat it and restore your oral health before you can qualify for dental implants. According to a 2016 British Dental Journal article, patients with a history of periodontitis (advanced gum disease) have these risks:

  • Implant loss
  • Loss of supporting bone 
  • Postoperative infection
  • Peri implantitis (gum disease around dental implants)

Heart Disease

Heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases affect blood flow and healing, but most people with heart disease can still get dental implants. One of our doctors at Burbank Periodontics will review your medical history thoroughly to identify the required precautions. According to the American Heart Association, a periodontist may prescribe pre-surgery antibiotics for patients with these circumstances:

  • Artificial heart valve
  • History of infective endocarditis (inflammation of the inner linings of the heart)
  • Certain congenital heart diseases
  • Heart transplant


You can get dental implants if you have well-controlled diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can delay osseointegration, the fusion of your jawbone and dental implants. One of our doctors will communicate with your medical doctor to ensure your blood glucose levels are stable enough to maximize the success of your dental implant procedure. Also, controlling diabetes after dental implant placement reduces these risks:

  • Post-surgery complications
  • Peri-implantitis 
  • Shortening the long-term survival rate of your dental implants


Osteoporosis weakens bones and makes them brittle, but most people with osteoporosis can still get dental implants. One of our doctors at Burbank Periodontics will use a 3-D CT scan to determine if osteoporosis has affected your jawbone volume and whether you need a grafting procedure before getting dental implants. A 2015 article in the World Journal of Orthopedics published results from a review of 12 studies on osteoporosis and dental implants. The findings are as follows:

  • The dental implant survival rate in patients with or without osteoporosis is comparable.
  • Osteoporosis has no detrimental effect on implant failure rates.
  • Osteoporosis does not increase peri-implantitis prevalence.
  • Although osteoporosis was associated with higher rates of implant loss in the 12 studies, there is weak evidence to support or refute the hypothesis that osteoporosis may have detrimental effects on bone healing.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can reduce blood flow and slow wound healing, but you may be a candidate for dental implants if your blood pressure is controlled. Before implant placement, one of our doctors will review your medical history and prescription medications to avoid hypertensive complications during implant placement. Also, presurgical anxiety can increase high blood pressure, so our doctors take these precautions:

  • Check your blood pressure when you arrive for dental implant placement.
  • Use an appropriate level of sedation to keep you relaxed.
  • Avoid interfering with your blood pressure medication.
  • Monitor your blood pressure throughout the procedure.


The mode and amount of chemotherapy or radiation therapy you have received for oral, head, or neck cancer can affect your immune system, jawbone density, and the outcome of dental implants. Each patient’s case is unique, but the doctors at Burbank Periodontics are trained in the best practices for helping your implants succeed. They will evaluate your situation thoroughly to determine the following:

  • Whether you qualify for dental implants
  • The optimal time for implant placement, based on your therapy completion date
  • Whether you need bone grafting
  • Further personalization of your treatment plan, including managing soft-tissue contours and placing customized implant fixtures

Autoimmune Disease

Dental implants may still be a safe tooth replacement option if you have an autoimmune disease. An October 2002 article published the results of a systematic review of five studies of autoimmune disease and dental implants. Researchers analyzed these nine autoimmune diseases:

  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • Oral lichen planus 
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic scleroderma
  • Crohn’s disease 
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus 
  • Mucous membrane pemphigoid 
  • Pemphigus vulgaris

Researchers concluded that the dental implant survival rate in people with autoimmune diseases is about the same as in patients without autoimmune diseases. Nevertheless, diligent oral hygiene and ongoing follow-up are essential to long-term dental implant survival.

Request a Dental Implants Consultation

If you are interested in dental implants but have an existing medical condition, a consultation at Burbank Periodontics can help you explore your tooth replacement options. One of our highly credentialed doctors will patiently listen to your concerns and explain how you can get a healthier, more attractive smile.  Learn more about dental implants.