Can a Person with Diabetes Get Dental Implants?

February 12, 2014

According to new research published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, people suffering from both type I and type II diabetes are at an 8.3% higher risk for tooth loss. Diabetics over age 50 are at an even higher risk, the study reported, and diabetics overall have a much higher chance of becoming completely edentulous (losing all their natural teeth). Dental implants offer people who have lost adult teeth a secure, reliable, and long-lasting tooth replacement options but, unfortunately, diabetes is often considered a contraindication for dental implants. Today, we’re examining why diabetics often do not make good candidates for dental implant placement and what steps a patient can take to qualify for the procedure.

Complications Associated with Diabetes

Diabetes can interfere with the success of a dental implant procedure in two ways:

  • Impaired healing. Diabetes prevents the body from circulating blood and oxygen efficiently. If sufficient blood and oxygen cannot reach the implant site, the bone tissue will not fuse with the implant post properly. Failure to heal results in loose implants that fall out and prevent proper chewing.
  • Increased risk for inflammation around the implant. Referred to clinically as peri-implantitis, this type of inflammation is basically the dental implant version of gum disease. Diabetics have a higher risk for this type of inflammation because uncontrolled blood sugar provides a quick source of food for oral bacteria.

The Role of Lifestyle

If you have diabetes, your willingness to closely monitor your condition directly impacts whether or not your dentist will recommend you for dental implant placement. Managing your blood sugar through diet and medication can improve your body’s ability to heal and decrease your risk for gum inflammation. In addition to diet, quitting smoking is the best step you can take toward qualifying for dental implants (and managing your diabetes).

About Brad Greenfield, DDS

Dr. Brad Greenfield practices family, restorative, cosmetic, and sedation dentistry with a holistic approach to patient care and comfort. To schedule an appointment with your Lake Orion, MI implant dentist, call (248) 693-6213. We proudly serve patients of all ages in Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Oxford, Rochester Hills, and neighboring communities.

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