I Have Diabetes – Am I Still Eligible for Dental Implants?

August 12, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drearnest @ 4:13 pm
older man happy with dental implants

According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, over 30 million Americans (1 in 10) have diabetes. Given that the condition makes it harder to heal and often contributes to oral health issues, is it still possible for diabetics to receive dental implants? Continue reading to get the full details about how diabetes impacts tooth replacement.

How Diabetes Can Impact Oral Health

For diabetics, it’s difficult to digest carbohydrates (sugar). Because their pancreas doesn’t function normally, there can be excess insulin and sugar in the blood that become toxic. This can contribute to increased inflammation, acidity and a compromised immune system.

From an oral health perspective, having diabetes can contribute to the development of gum disease, a condition that affects over half the adult population in America. This can create a challenge for patients looking to replace their missing teeth with dental implants, but it doesn’t rule it out.

Addressing Gum Disease First

When bacteria are allowed to grow inside the mouth, plaque can soon develop and sink beneath the gum line. Eventually, this can cause infection and inflammation. If the condition goes untreated, there can be gum recession and jawbone loss, which are two issues that can prevent the placement of a dental implant.

Here’s why it’s so important to have adequate gum tissue and jawbone mass:

  • The implant is surgically attached to the jawbone.
  • The security of the implant is based on its ability to fuse with the existing bone through a process called osseointegration.
  • After successful fusion, an abutment is added that allows for the placement of a prosthetic.

While the dental implant procedure has a 95% success rate across the board, its effectiveness is dependent on the health of the patient’s gums, having sufficient jawbone mass and the implant being properly placed.

Why Diabetes Can’t be Overlooked

Failing to seek treatment for diabetes can be life-threatening, increasing the susceptibility to a host of ailments. It can also make it much harder to recover from surgery, which could affect the success of your dental implantation.

The health of the human body is truly interconnected. Thus, if there is an ailment in one area, it can have effects in other places. The relationship between diabetes, gum disease and successful dental implantation is an example of the interconnectedness.

Are dental implants safe for diabetics? Yes, they definitely are! It starts with visiting your local implant dentist for a consultation. Then, with the coordinated help of your primary physician and dentist, you can move forward with having your smile and life restored!

About the Author

Dr. David Earnest is a graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center. With nearly a decade of experience in the dental field, he has remained an active learner, taking several hours of continuing education annually. Dr. Earnest understands the importance of maintaining total health, which is why he takes a holistic approach to replacing missing teeth with dental implants. A member of the Academy of Osseointegration and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, he rebuilds smiles at Seguin Dentures & Implants, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.

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