Retrospective study of the success of dental implants placed in HIV positive patients at the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine
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Dental implants are an effective method of restoring missing teeth without compromising healthy neighboring teeth. Under proper oral hygiene and adequate care dental implants may be maintained for over 10 years. Good bone and gingival health are necessary for successful implants. In general systemic diseases may lead to lower rates of dental implant success. In spite of the risk the use of implants is not contraindicated. The effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy has increased the span and quality of life in HIV positive patients. Currently, HIV positive patients can opt for advanced dental treatments such as dental implants to restore their smile and masticatory function. Implants require a surgical approach which has the same level of invasiveness and risk of infection as tooth extraction. It is still questionable whether implants are a viable alternative for HIV positive patients as HIV infection itself and antiretroviral therapy both lead to bone loss. There are insufficient longitudinal studies to determine the success of dental implants in HIV positive patients. Recruited subjects for this study were scheduled for a single visit at GSDM to evaluate the current status of their implants previously placed at GSDM. Their medical history was updated including antiretroviral treatment. After a medical interview an intraoral radiographic image of the dental implant was used for comparison with the one taken at the date of implant placement to measure the amount of bone loss around the implant. This study aimed to determine if an unmodifiable factor such as HIV and the use of ART may affect the success of dental implants. Due to the small sample size, we may not conclude that HIV itself or the use of antiretroviral therapy affect the outcome of dental implant. The study supports the use of dental implants on HIV positive patients and the success of them is comparable to those placed on non-HIV patients.