Are Dental Implants an Option for Diabetic Patients? By Dr. Dan Whiting on June 27, 2016

Dental implant placementTooth loss is an unfortunate, yet common dental complication. Because diabetes increases the risk of many oral health problems, those patients suffering from this disease are especially vulnerable to tooth loss. After tooth loss occurs, it is important to replace the missing teeth with dental restorations. These restorations will uphold the integrity of the smile, restore oral functions, and protect the strength and health of adjacent teeth. Dental implants are the most comfortable, secure, and durable tooth replacement option available, making them an ideal treatment option following tooth loss. While the benefits of dental implants cannot be matched, not all patients are ideal candidates for this procedure. Diabetes is one condition that may preclude patients from being good candidates for dental implants. The experienced dentists at Smiles for Life are happy to discuss dental implants and diabetes with our Bridgewater, VA patients to determine whether this exceptional treatment may still be a viable option for those living with this disease.

How Does Diabetes Affect Dental Implant Treatment?

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that affects the blood sugar levels in the body. Patients may suffer from type 1 diabetes, in which the pancreas stops producing insulin, or type 2 diabetes, in which the body either produces an insufficient amount of insulin, or the body fails to respond to the insulin that is produced. In either situation, the result is an increase in blood sugar levels.

Increased sugar levels can have an effect on the functions of the body, including its ability to heal. This is how diabetes can impact dental implant treatment. Dental implants are placed into the jaw during an oral surgery procedure. Following the placement of dental implants, the jaw and gums heal, and the jawbone fuses around the dental implant. Diabetic patients tend to take longer to heal and have been shown to be more prone to infection. In addition, increased blood sugar levels can alter a body’s response to inflammation (the most common side effect of dental implants treatment). In non-diabetic patients, swelling is a protective response to surgery. However, in patients with increased blood sugar levels, inflammation has the potential to become a chronic condition, and can even lead to tissue damage.

Are Dental Implants Suitable for Diabetic Patients?

The potential effect of diabetes on dental implants may seem disheartening, but many diabetic patients actually are ideal candidates for dental implants. The potential complications of diabetes are largely centered on increased blood sugar levels. Fortunately, with proper medical treatment and routine monitoring, most diabetic patients are able to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Many studies have shown that diabetic patients who have controlled blood sugar levels are just as likely to experience positive dental implant results as those without diabetes. As long as a patient is controlling his or her diabetes, and has been forthcoming with his or her dentist about their diabetic condition, it is highly likely that dental implants can be an appropriate treatment option for tooth loss.

Schedule an Appointment

Dental implants provide a secure foundation for dental restorations and are the most secure treatment available for missing teeth. If you would like to know if dental implants are right for you, schedule an appointment with one of the experienced dentists at Smiles for Life at your earliest convenience.

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