Dental Implants: Hi All, I haven't posted for a... - LUPUS UK


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Dental Implants

Loopy-loo profile image

Hi All,

I haven't posted for a very long time. Can anybody advise me if they have had Dental implants. I won't go into all the details but have basically been told by a periodontist that I have periodontal disease and has advised that perhaps it's a good idea that I have my remaining six bottom teeth extracted and perhaps implants if I don't want dentures. I have periodontal disease amongst other oral issues. I am in Cape Town until March, where I am thinking of having this procedure. The periodontist I saw impressed me very much. But I need to make the right choice of what way I am going to go. What I do is know is at the moment I am in a lot of pain. Has anybody had Implants to the whole of the lower mouth ? Thanks in advance

17 Replies

hi, someone i used to work with had a full set of dental implants and seemed very happy with them, although didn't speak to me about them. Someone else she was close to told me and said she was very happy and if she had to have her teeth out she would do the same. I know she didn't have health issues as you do but it appears to be the way forward nowadays, hope you get sorted and pain free

Loopy-loo profile image
Loopy-loo in reply to jayfer

Thanks Jayfer,

I am just worried that it might cause a flair, And I would hate to go through getting implants and continue to have the oral issues that I have. I will do some research over the holidays.

cuttysark profile image
cuttysark in reply to Loopy-loo


I have Sjogrens and possible Lupus overlap and have had a real struggle with my teeth for years.

I have very few molars left so eating is difficult.

I got an implant for an upper eye tooth five years ago and it has been excellent.

The most important thing is to go to someone you are really confident with. I live in Scotland and went to one of the best people there.

I could do with a few more but am wavering as the expense over here is pretty steep.

My main problem is that I do have a really good upper plate but with the mouth sensitivity my gums get red and sore if I wear it. Might be an allergy to the metal. Fortunately apart from that eye tooth I have all my own teeth still at front but almost no molars.

I researched also and found that most medics did recommend implants for folk with Sjogrens and Lupus like illnesses despite the risk of a flare.

I had a bit of a flare after it,but it was controllable with extra steroids for a wee while.

The implant itself is fantastic and the gum healed quickly round it.

The time to have it done is just after extraction, I was a year later so they had to drill into the bone but it was actually painless just a lot of pressure .

The local anaesthetics now are wonderful so I wouldn't be afraid, just make sure you have the right person, that is vital.

Good luck with it all, C x

Good question! You've had some great replies. I can certainly relate to this discussion. I'll try to be brief, but it's a complicated story...but it only concerns 1 implant in the upper jaw,....well, hmmmm....perhaps something in my experience can be useful anyway:

My oral health probs started in childhood with early gum recession, mouth ulcers & erosive lesions and other periodontal symptoms etc and continued to trouble me all my life. Now we know that my lupus was infant onset, but I wasn't made aware of the infancy diagnosis. By 2010-11, when I was in my late 50s, the cumulative effects of inflammatory processes meant my multisystem deterioration was advanced & obvious enough for the NHS to have to investigate me for immune dysfunction. And we recovered the early lupus diagnosis + found sjogrens symptoms. At that point, daily systemic prescription treatment began to help me.

Meanwhile in 2010-11, while all that lupus diagnosis stuff was happening, various dentists & oral surgeons were grappling with what turned out to be a failed root canal job on an upper molar....turned out, this had actually failed 20 years ago at the time the root canal was performed, but subsequently dentists hadn't taken my comments re persistent symptoms seriously.....had they known about my lupus, perhaps they might have.

Anyway, the molar was extracted and replaced by an implant while my lupus was being rediscovered. At the time I knew nothing about lupus, and was only beginning to understand there could be implications for my oral health. But I also had no adult experience of tooth extraction etc, so I researched all the options for replacing this molar...and went for implant because any other option would clearly affect my fragile gums too much. Certainly my oral surgeon didn't take my lupus diagnosis seriously. But he did do a good job of the implant, although it was complicated by my poor bone density etc. My gums healed up fine, despite their susceptibilities & fragility.

Of course, the whole implantation procedure from extraction to implantation & crowning takes many months. Meanwhile I eventually started daily hydroxy....and 3 months after starting, I went into a flu-like flare with a +++ infection coming through my nasal passage on the same side as the new molar implant. With this came symptoms in my sinuses & upper jaw. Turned out osteomyelitis had most likely been simmering in my upper jawbone for 20 years since the root canal first went in and failed....and the molar implant process + onset of the hydroxy immunosuppression had sort of let the osteomyelitis flare. A Sinusitis flare was part of this because the fine layer of bone between my jaw and the sinus above was pierced by the implant, allowing infection to spread into my already chronically inflamed sinuses (I'd had chronic sinusitis etc from childhood too).

The whole situation was thoroughly investigated by NHS maxillofacial & ENT consultants during the 5 months I was on high dose flucloxacillin daily to clear the infections. It was all quite an ordeal...during which I had to live with the fact there was a good chance surgeons might have to excavate my jawbone & rebuild my face in order to contain & remove the infection.

This experience gave me quite an education re the issues involved for SLE & sjogrens patients in taking a decision to proceed with dental implants, especially in the upper jawbone where the sinuses are so closely involved, and infection is part of the picture. But I also discovered there are complicating factors in the lower jaw re problematic major nerves & arteries. Whatever, I LOVE my implant & would definitely consider having more should this come up in my future.

So my feeling is that it's good you're thinking very carefully about implants and my feeling is that you'd possibly do best to take the advice of your other consultants before proceeding - eg rheumatology, oral surgery etc

Hope you'll let us know how you get on

🎄🍀 coco

Loopy-loo profile image
Loopy-loo in reply to Barnclown


Also forgot to mention that my oral issues seemed to gather pace after root canal treatment ??? I was first treated for a gum infection. I then was referred to a E.N.E. Consultant by my Lupus consultant in case there was any underlying conditions as I had been having ear and throat pain for the last 3 years, that turns out to be myofascial. Tests and a C.T. Scan came back relatively normal.

My dentist in the U.K. then decided to do a root canal. Unfortunately this brings me to my current issues. A lot to think about at the moment.

Barnclown profile image
Barnclown in reply to Loopy-loo

Yikes... So we do have this stuff in common!

I very very much hope you'll let me know how your thinking on all this evolves...PM me if you like. You're helping me a lot to get my head around inevitable future treatments of my own!

And to complicate things further: I have spent the past 10 years avoiding the bisphosphonate osteoporosis treatment rheumatology has wanted me to have. Now my various conditions are acknowledged & responding to treatment I felt it was reasonable to proceed, and in November past rheumatology arranged my first annual IV Zoledronate because of my chronic upper GI conditions. Of course first my dentist & oral surgeons checked my teeth/jaws to be as sure as poss I wouldn't need any extractions etc this year re the risk of osteonecrosis that comes with bisphosphonate treatment. In my reply to your question, I forgot to ask how you are factoring in any osteoporosis bisphosphonate treatment in your decision re these extractions & implants....?

Anyway: thanks for your reply...and thanks for getting this important discussion going👏👏👏

Take care😉


Hello Loo,

I had been putting off this very same choice for the past year for the same fears and just made the leap a few months ago. I now wonder what I was so afraid of! It was far simpler than expected and for me, not a bit of pain.

I had been on over a year of high steroids so there was that concern for healing and even that has gone smoothly with my doctors working together.

My advice is to do your research, find the most experienced person in the field and know it may have to be done more than once. As I was told, if they run into trouble there is always an out, they can always go back to the bridge concept but I am very glad I did it this way.

Oh, and yes, they put me on very high antibiotics for longer than normal and times it in between my Rituxan infusions.

Good luck to you

Hi Cuttysark,

That sounds very positive. Thanks for your input. I would have to have six teeth extracted, which would then leave me no teeth at the bottom. I am not to sure how many implants are needed at the moment, he did say that I would have the implants straight away. He has also referred me to a prosthodontist whom he works with, I think perhaps she is more on the cosmetic side of things. I have had blood tests taken by the periodontist and until I have the results we will not know what other oral issues I have. Unfortunately because of the holidays I will not be able to get anymore information until the13th January. At least this is giving me time to do a little research.

Take care & Happy Christmas.

Hi Barnclown / Zzcat,

I am certainly becoming more informed by your answers. If I didn't have more oral issues going on I would probably go ahead. The periodontist I saw seemed to be very well versed in all aspects of dentistry and oral issues. BUT I always worry that they don't know enough about lupus etc etc. He is also testing me for burning mouth syndrome and Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid ( MMP ) which is another Autoimmune Disorder. I will get advise from my Lupus consultant before I make a decision.

I will update as soon as I have more news.

Merry Christmas to you all x

Goodness Barnclown you have a lot going on! I haven't even thought about osteoporosis treatments ;) Is this likely to be something that I might need in the future ?

Hi Lupies I have just been reading above and wondered how much dental implants are? I have sjrojens and the usual problems with that, I have 5 veneers which I absolutely hate because they fall out, and my gums are receding, I have often thought about implants and wondered if they are available on NHS? If not how much money are you looking at per tooth?

Hi Onedayatatime,

No I don't think you can get implants on the n.h.s. I am from the u.k. But am in Cape Town, South Africa. until March. I was having oral issues before I left the u.k. A local g.p. I see while I visit Cape Town referred me to a local periodontist. Who has recommended I have 6 lower teeth extracted and six implants inserted. Although the cost is much cheaper here it's not the reason if I did go ahead with this procedure here. The dr I saw was very easy Experienced in what he does. I need to discuss this more when I have all the info. I am awaiting my lupus consultants comments to see what he recommends. I will update once I know what way I am going go. Maureen x

Hi, someone has just posted re problems with implants and I remembered you asking so thought would mention in case you haven't seen it

Thanks Jayfer. I hadent seen it. I go to the prosthodontist today. So will update everybody soon.

@Loopy-loo good thing you choose dental implants over dentures since implants are more durable looks more natural. And to give you some insight about dental implant procedure. In the standard dental implant procedure, and as this is an out-patient procedure, local anesthesia is usually adequate. During the procedure, small holes are drilled into the jaw site where tooth has been lost or removed in order to insert a titanium screw that will hold the dental implant in place. This hole will be slowly and carefully enlarged to allow the implants to be inserted. The implant site is allowed to heal before the new artificial tooth is attached. This procedure may take from three to six months to heal. After that time period, your dentist will complete the procedure by placing a crown restoration. The healing process will depend on many factors such as your jawbone structure, age, and general oral health.

Loopy-loo profile image
Loopy-loo in reply to PlacidWay

Thanks placid way for your response. I have already had the procedure three weeks ago. Everything is healing well, I have a temporary prosthesis at the moment as I had six teeth extracted and six implant put straight in my lower jaw. Another three weeks until I can start to chew a few more things. I am not looking to have my permanent crowns inserted for another six months, although I am more than happy with my temporary prosthesis, but have been told the permanent crowns will look and feel even better!

PlacidWay profile image
PlacidWay in reply to Loopy-loo

Good to know that!

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