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Osteoporosis and edentulous jaws

Osteoporosis is a disease of the skeletal system characterised by decreased bone density and microarchitectural deterioration which results in decreased bone strength and an increased risk of fractures. According to World Health Organization data, it is the second most common pathology right after cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis-related fractures can be seen in every third woman and every fifth man older than 50.

Tooth loss causes residual ridge resorption, which is a chronic progressive and irreversible process, and causes of it are not still fully understood. Residual ridge resorption is a significant factor which affects the prosthetic rehabilitation of edentulous patients and their ability to adapt to their prosthesis as well as the doctor’s options to construct an optimal complete denture. Use of dental implants helps to improve the stability and retention of the complete denture, resulting in improved quality of life for patients, but it must be considered that the implantation also requires an adequate amount and quality of alveolar bone. There are several factors which affect the residual ridge resorption – anatomical, metabolic, mechanic, prosthetic. Some scientists believe that in particular, metabolic factors such as osteoporosis are the most significant factors leading to residual ridge resorption. Data from clinical studies regarding osteoporosis and its effect on residual ridge resorption are controversial and the degree of resorption is evaluated using conventional X-ray imaging, which is a less informative method. Nowadays when Cone beam computed tomography is used, it is possible to determine the exact degree of residual ridge resorption and analyse the quality of bone and its relation to osteoporosis.




Anda Slaidiņa graduated from Rīga Stradinš University, Faculty of Dentistry (Latvia) in 2004 and completed her postgraduate studies in prosthodontics in 2007. In 2010 she defended her PhD thesis "The impact of osteoporosis on the structures of the oral cavity in postmenopausal women" at Rīga Stradiņš University. Since 2004 she has been working as a prosthodontist at SIA RSU Institute of Stomatology, Rīga (Latvia). Since 2012 she is working as Assistant Professor and from 2017 as senior researcher in the Department of Prosthodontics at Rīga Stradinš University. She is a member of the International College of Prosthodontists and the Latvian Dental Association.