Dental Implants and Diabetes

Dental implants are one of the best ways to restore missing teeth in all patients, especially those with diabetes. Patients with diabetes may require additional preoperative and postoperative implant care but dental implants are safe for patients with controlled diabetes as long as their overall health complies with health guidelines for patients receiving dental implants. Dental implants work to restore one or more missing teeth and can help patients maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet and allow patients to restore their mouth without the irritations, sores, and infections that can accompany traditional dentures.

While there are some factors to consider when deciding to have dental implants placed, patients with diabetes have a success rate comparable to those patients who are fully healthy. Implant placement is safe and predictable for patients with well controlled diabetes. Dental implants or a safer and permanent solution to restore missing teeth. Let's take a look at some of the factors that a patient should consider before having implant placement surgery:

Is your diabetes well controlled?

This is one of the most important considerations to take before having dental implants placed. Patients with controlled diabetes have no more risk of complications or implant failure than non-diabetic patients but patients with uncontrolled diabetes have a higher rate of implant failure and post-procedure infection.

Dental implants are titanium posts that are screwed directly into the jaw bone and rely on the body's natural healing process to fuse the jaw bone to the implant, called osseiointegration. The integration with the jaw bone gives dental implants the stability of a natural tooth, the implant acting as the root of the tooth. Dental implants also help stimulate bone regeneration to keep the patient's bone structure from deteriorating due to lack of teeth.

Patients with uncontrolled diabetes have a more difficult time healing from implant placement surgery. The healing process can still be slower for any patient with diabetes but more so in patients with uncontrolled diabetes.

Age can also play a role for patients with diabetes looking to have dental implants placed. The longer you have diabetes, the more susceptible you are to slower healing and infection,

Do you have type 1 diabetes or type 2?

Type 1 diabetes can be more difficult for the patient to control so the failure rate for dental implants in patients with type 1 diabetes is slightly higher than for those with type 2 diabetes. Patients with type 1 diabetes may still be a candidate for dental implants but your oral surgeon will take this information into consideration when reviewing your medical and dental records and assessing your overall health and well-being as they learn about your history of infection and your individual healing timeline.

Are you generally healthy?

The overall health of the patient is the biggest deciding factor when determining if a patient is a candidate for dental implants. Even patients with diabetes can help great success with dental implants but if they are also unhealthy in other areas, they may not be a viable candidate for dental implants. Some factors that may contribute to a patient's inability to receive dental implants include:

  • Smokers - patients who smoke not only have a more difficult time healing after surgery but the sucking action required to smoke can compromise the implant’s ability to heal properly; smokers may still be able to have a dental implant placed if they are able to commit to quitting for the duration of treatment which could be up to six months.
  • Pre-existing periodontal disease - patients with gum disease will not have success with a dental implant unless the gum disease is treated and maintained.
  • Insufficient bone density - patients with poor bone structure will not be able to support a dental implant; a bone graft may be necessary before a dental implant can be placed.

Additionally, patients that have been treated for oral cancer or have taken biophosphate medications in the past may not be a candidate for dental implants. Patients that have a medical condition that compromises their ability to heal after surgery may also need to consider another option for dental restoration.

It is important to make sure that you provide your dentist and oral surgeon with a complete medical history including all medications you are currently taking. Everything in your medical history will be taken into consideration during your consultation for dental implant placement. For patients with diabetes, dental implants can be a safe way to improve and maintain a diabetes friendly diet and lifestyle.

The ideal diet for patients with diabetes includes a lot of fresh, whole foods that often require extra chewing so the permanent restoration of dental implants can greatly help aid in chewing and digestion. Traditional dentures can be unreliable with some foods and can cause the patient to avoid healthy options, instead turning to foods that are easier to eat but may not necessarily be good for them.

If you are a patient suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes but need to have missing teeth restored, speak with your dentist to see if you might be a candidate for dental implants or an implant supported denture!

Infected Dental Implants