Dental Implants and Diabetes

Dental implants can restore a person’s ability to smile confidently and speak clearly after they’ve lost one or more of their teeth, but they can also help their wearers maintain a balanced, nutritious diet over the long term. While good nutrition is important for anyone’s health, it’s particularly crucial for people with diabetes, making dental implants an optimal replacement choice for this population. It’s important for diabetes to be controlled before dental implants can be placed, and dental implant treatments for patients with diabetes may involve specific pre- and post-procedure care, but it’s certainly possible for patients with diabetes to thrive with dental implants. If you have diabetes, there are some factors to consider when weighing whether dental implants are the right choice for you.

In general, type 1 diabetes is more challenging to control than type 2 diabetes, which means that the risks associated with dental implants are higher for patients with type 1 diabetes. These patients will undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation, and the oral surgeon will review the patient’s medical history to assess the likelihood of infection or a history of delayed or compromised healing processes. Patients who have had diabetes for longer periods of time are also more prone to infection and delayed healing, so getting dental implants sooner than later can help ensure good outcomes.

Controlling the disease is the most important factor in determining whether patients with diabetes should receive dental implants. Multiple reviews have indicated that patients with controlled diabetes see no increase in implant failure or infection when compared with patients without diabetes, but the same is not true for patients with uncontrolled or ineffectively managed diabetes. Dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone, where the bone heals around the implant and creates a lasting, sturdy bond. Implant failure and infection can occur if the dental implants are unable to sufficiently fuse with the bone tissue, a process that is integral to the long-term success of dental implants and that is compromised when diabetes or other inflammatory conditions are present. Increased healing times can also compromise the surgical sites and heighten the risk of infection. Once the inflammation caused by diabetes is under control and the disease is managed, the bone is more able to heal promptly and properly and the dental implants can be the stable anchors they’re intended to be.

Your oral surgeon will work with you, in cooperation with your doctor, to make sure that your diabetes is well-managed as part of your dental implant treatment plan, monitoring the health of the oral cavity periodically. Dental implants may not be an option for patients with existing gum disease or periodontal disease, and patients with lower bone density or inadequate healthy bone structure may require bone graft therapies before implants can be placed. Dental implants are also not recommended for smokers; you and your dentist can design a smoking-cessation program as part of your dental implant treatment if you smoke. Once the patient and their oral cavity are healthy and have demonstrated stability, dental implants can be placed and expected to succeed for the long term, providing a lifetime of healthy meals and confident smiles.

Denture Stabilization

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