Dental Implants and Diabetes

For people with diabetes, dental implants are safe and can prove to be just as helpful for long term dental health as they are for people who do not have diabetes. When you have dental implants instead of dentures, you are able to eat all the foods that are linked to a balanced diet that can help people control their diabetes better. Additionally, people with diabetes are more likely to have problems with inflammation and irritation from daily denture wearing so dental implants are a great way to help their gums and soft tissue stay as healthy as possible. In order to allow the dental implants the highest possibility of success after the procedure, you may need some additional care before and after your procedure.

How Does Diabetes Affect My Ability to Get Dental Implants?

A study was completed in 2016 by researchers on people with diabetes who opted for dental implants as a treatment for their missing teeth. That study as well as many others have shown over and over again that dental implants are safe and successful for people with diabetes. In fact, the results are as predictable for people with diabetes as they are for people without it. If the patient is able to control their diabetes with medication and diet, then tooth replacement options other than dentures are available and can improve their dental health as compared to living with missing teeth. Dental implants are long lasting and offer a safe dental restoration for missing teeth for people of all ages and people with other medical conditions.

Is your diabetes under control?

In general, if you are able to monitor and stabilize your diabetic condition, then you are able to live a healthier day to day life. With maintained and controlled diabetes, you are able to heal from procedures and have successful results from those treatments, including dental implants. In these cases, people with and without diabetes have the same success rates for their dental implants. On the other hand, when people do not monitor and address their diabetes well, they are more likely to have problems with infections and inflammation. When these people look to dental implants as a tooth replacement, they are more likely to have dental implant failure.

It is important to know that diabetes can slow your healing process from surgeries and injuries regardless of how well controlled it is. But the less controlled the disease is, the slower the healing is and the opportunity for complications increases. When you and the dentist are working on your treatment plan for your dental implant procedure, the dentist may have you work harder on monitoring your diabetes to give you the highest success rate possible. Once the dentist is comfortable with your overall health, regardless of having diabetes or not, then you can move forward with your dental implant procedure. Who doesn’t want to be closer to having a tooth replacement that looks and acts like your natural teeth?

Do you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes?

Type One and Type Two diabetes affect the body differently and Type Two may be more manageable than Type One. With the predictability of your insulin and sugar levels, the dentist will be able to better address your specific dental implant process. People with Type One diabetes may find that they have a harder time healing, have increased instances of infection, and dental implant failure as compared to people with Type Two. This is not to say that if you have Type One diabetes that you are not able to have dental implants, but you will need to work more closely with your dentist. In fact, you should look to an experienced dentist who has performed dental implants on people with both types of diabetes. The dentist may need more medical history from you, multiple blood tests, and information about your history of infections.

Not only does the type of diabetes affect your success for dental implants, but your age will also play a factor. The longer you have been a diabetic, the more prone you are to complications like increased healing time and infections. If you do have diabetes and you want to look to dental implants to help improve your dental health, you should talk to the dentist sooner rather than waiting until you are older.

Are you generally healthy?

Unfortunately, people too often think that they are too old, too unhealthy, or they can’t afford dental implants before they talk to a dentist about all their options. If you have one of the following issues, you may need to work with a dentist who has experience before you decide you are not an ideal candidate:

  • If you are a smoker
  • If you have been treated for oral cancer
  • If you have used a biophosphate medication in the past
  • Current gum disease, gingivitis, or periodontal disease
  • Diseases or conditions that affect your healing abilities
  • Low bone density
  • Inability to have bone grafting procedures
  • If you have a history of being noncompliant with aftercare instructions

For everyone who has dental implant procedures, they are required by the dentist to be patient over the course of months and compliant with the instructions that come with each stage of the process. The dentist may ask you to quit smoking to avoid the inflammation that comes with habitual nicotine use.

Additionally, the sucking action that comes with smoking disrupts the healing process as well. If you are unwilling to follow this request or any others from the dentist, then you may want to look into other tooth replacement options.

Dental implants can help you maintain a diabetes-healthy diet

One of the major benefits of having a dental implant over dentures is you are able to use your replacement tooth as you would your natural teeth. Whereas dentures require you to choose softer foods, dental implants allow you to eat the same crunchy and fresh foods you ate before your lost your tooth. For people with diabetes, dieticians and doctors recommend a diet full of unprocessed, fresh foods in order to help control sugar and insulin levels. These types of foods require more chewing and you will want to have stable and secure teeth to comply with these suggestions.

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