Vitamin D and Dental Implants

Vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants are all very important components in a person’s well-being. In our busy world, it’s easy to become deficient in many of these due to fast foods, processed foods, and the toll stress can take on a person. But your Vitamin D level can impact your ability to get dental implants for your missing teeth in Succasunna, NJ. Dr. Ira Goldberg of Morris County Dental Associates explains.Vitamin D and Dental Implants

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is one of these extremely important vitamins. It is essential for the absorption of calcium, muscle strength, immune system function, and deterrence of osteoporosis. It also has many other functions. However, Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide public health problem that spans all ages. Epidemiological studies have shown that roughly 70% of society is deficient. This is largely due to the number of desk-related jobs that don’t allow us to get enough sun exposure, which is the main source of this important vitamin. Vitamin D is found naturally in very few foods.

Vitamin D and Dental Implants

Within the last 10 years or so, we have realized the importance of vitamin D to the success of dental implants, and not having enough of it can be directly linked to implant failure. There are a number of studies revealing this correlation, but one paper evaluated 2,000 implants in roughly 1,000 patients. While heavy smoking (15 cigarettes per day) was associated with an approximate 50% increase in early implant failures, severe vitamin D deficiency was reported with a nearly 300% increase in overall implant failure! (Manganeo et al, 2019).

What happens if a dental implant fails due to insufficient vitamin D levels? Typically, we will see an “early-stage failure.” This means your bone does not integrate with the dental implant. For many years we did not know why a routine, simple implant placement procedure might fail. Lately, we have been able to link it to poor bone metabolism, which is directly related to patients’ vitamin and mineral levels.

Checking Your Vitamin D Levels

So what are good and bad levels, and what should your level be for dental implant surgery? A level below 20 ng/ml is a deficiency. Optimal levels are 30 ng/ml. If you are undergoing dental implant surgery, your level should be between 40 and 60 ng/ml. This is because stress (ie: dental surgery) will decrease your Vitamin D level. Be careful: there is such a thing as vitamin D toxicity. Too much of a good thing can be bad. This level is defined as 150 ng/ml, or greater.

How can you test your Vitamin D level quickly and effectively? You can go to a lab such as Quest or Labcorp and utilize your medical insurance. As an alternative, a quick and simple in-office pin-prick test can be administered in the dental office. Costs are around $90, and results are determined in approximately 10 minutes.

What can be done if your Vitamin D level is determined to be deficient? Dietary supplements of Vitamin D by themselves will bring levels up to desirable amounts in 8 to 12 weeks. This is not conducive to moving forward with a dental implant procedure quickly. There is a supplement designed for dentistry and implant/bone grafting procedures that combines Vitamin D with other “co-factors” such as vitamin K, magnesium, calcium, and others: this supplement can decrease the “replenishment rate” down to 4 weeks. It is also recommended you continue the supplements for 2 weeks after the procedure.

Vitamin D cannot provide its benefits for bone metabolism on its own. That’s why “co-factors” (mentioned above) are necessary. These co-factors allow your body to utilize and activate Vitamin D.

In conclusion, the world of dental implants has found a new level of respect for vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. Overall health is important not only to your well-being but also to the success of any dental implant procedure you might be considering!

Treating Missing Teeth in Succasunna, New Jersey

For a free consultation, including a free 3-D scan (if necessary), please call his office at (973) 328-1225. Dr. Goldberg is a general dentist, and also a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry.