Dental implant surgery is one of the best innovations for permanently replacing damaged or missing teeth. Not only are dental implants comfortable, long-lasting, and beautiful, and natural in appearance, but they also promote healthy jaw bone growth and preservation. However, they may not be an option for everyone as those with diabetes may have potential concerns regarding dental implants.
Despite the amazing benefits that dental implants have on transforming the look and feel of a smile, they are not always a viable option for individuals struggling with diabetes. This is because studies show that patients with poorly controlled diabetes had a higher level of implant failure, peri-implantitis, and less effective osseointegration.1
Let’s explore the potential causes for concern for having dental implants with diabetes.
How Does Diabetes Affect Oral Health?
Diabetes affects the production of insulin from the pancreas, in turn causing problems with the level of blood sugar in the body.2 This condition can be linked to negative oral health outcomes and dental implant failure for these key reasons:
#1: Increased Risk For Infection
A heightened level of glucose in the body reduces the ability of white blood cells and other components of the immune system to successfully aid in the healing process, which makes fighting infections and healing wounds a much slower process for those with diabetes.3 This can interfere with the gum’s healing after dental implant surgery, and can also inhibit the implant from properly fusing with the jawbone.
#2: Dry Mouth
One of the most common side effects of type 1 and 2 diabetes is dry mouth. This can be caused by the medications that diabetics take or the increased risk for dehydration with the condition.4 Because saliva flushes away harmful bacteria and food particles that turn to plaque, dry mouth increases a diabetic’s risk for gum disease and cavities down the line. Gum disease can impact the success of a dental implant.
Dental Implants and Diabetes: Who is a Good Candidate?
While diabetes can make a dental implant procedure a little bit trickier to navigate, if your glucose levels are well-managed with the help of lifestyle, diet, and insulin therapy, dental implants are definitely a possibility. Patients with diabetes are better candidates for implants if they are:
Type 2 Diabetics
Between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is often easier to control, which makes type 2 diabetics better candidates for a dental implant.
In Good Oral and Physical Health
If you have diabetes but don’t have other major health conditions, the chances are you will have a better success rate for dental implants. In addition to assessing the level of blood sugar control, some of the health indicators that periodontists will look for when determining the candidacy of a patient considering implants include:
- Patients with healthy jawbone support and volume
- Good oral hygiene practices
- And those without a history of tobacco use.
Can I Get A Dental Implant If I Have Diabetes?
It’s safe to say that dental implants are most definitely a possibility for diabetics, but not without some important considerations. Since diabetes affects the immune system, decreases the flow of saliva, and increases glucose levels in saliva, the healing and longevity of your implant could potentially be negatively impacted.
Explore Dental Implant Options Today
If you are considering dental implants while managing diabetes, it is important to seek the guidance of a periodontist to develop a treatment plan that is right for you. Get in touch with our team at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester to see if you are a candidate for dental implants today. 585-685-2005