Dental Implants and Diabetes

Many who suffer from Diabetes and Diabetic complications see negative results in their dental health. As the health of your teeth and gums deteriorates, you or your dentist may look towards implants. Dental implants are perfectly safe for diabetics, but there are certain issues you should be aware of before you opt for Dental implants.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are synthetic teeth that are anchored into the gum and jawline of your mouth. Dental implants are typically made of a strong, tooth like material, like Zirconia or Porcelain fused to metal(PFM). These synthetic teeth are attached to a dental implant anchor in your jaw with a small piece of metal called an abutment. Once dental implants are anchored correctly, and your jaw has grown to secure them, they are semi permanent. This makes Dental implants more ideal than the temporary dentures of the past. Dental implants can be used for anything from a single tooth replacement, to a bridge, to entire “permanent” dentures. The materials you use can vary in durability and price. Options for materials should be discussed with your Dentist and insurance to assess which are in your price range. You can select materials that are biocompatible, durable, and aesthetically pleasing, all without hurting your wallet too much.

How does Diabetes affect Dental Implants?

Diabetes mellitus is the proper name for what we call “Diabetes” and it refers to a “honey siphon.” The body’s natural ability to process sugar and produce insulin is either defunct or severely slowed, and as a result the patient has to monitor for signs of glycemic fluctuations. When diabetes is managed well, there should be nothing to deter the process of dental implants. However, if the patient is having difficulty managing their blood sugar, this can compromise the immune system. If the immune response is hindered, it can lengthen the healing process, thus adding significant time to the already lengthy process of Dental Implantation. Diabetes can add pre and post work to the surgical treatment process. It can take longer to recover, and longer to move forward in the timeline. Implants can actually help with blood sugar management though, because the patient gains the entire faculty of their teeth and mouth, in order to eat healthy foods in a balanced diet.

Diabetes Types

The different types of diabetes should be considered in the grand scheme of dental implants. It is proven that diabetes type 1 can be more difficult to manage, and thus can lengthen the time necessary to get dental implants. Type 1 patients usually have complete insulin production failure, and they have usually been living with diabetes longer than those with type 2. Their bodies have never had complete control over insulin production, and this puts them at a slight disadvantage when it comes to keeping control of their blood sugar. It is still totally possible for type 1 diabetics to get dental implants. The patient can work with their dental team (Dentist, Dental Surgeon, and Dental Hygienist), and diabetes team (Doctor, Endocrinologist, and Nutritionist) to find viable solutions to problems they may face. Work with a comprehensive team of medical professionals to help achieve the desired results; a complete oral health snapshot and a balanced diet with healthy blood sugar levels.

Blood sugar control

Is your blood sugar under control currently? Are you taking the necessary steps to keep track of your blood sugar, checking after meals, and monitoring your a1c? If you are doing all of the above, you are on a great track. If you are not, that is okay too. We all loved foods that are not good for us, the important thing is to set up routines and processes that positively reinforce healthy behaviors. Living with diabetes is a 24/7 job, but you are not alone. Meet with your health team and discuss what changes you need to take to ensure a healthy operation and lasting results. These people care about your health, you can do this together.

What is your overall health like?

If you are living with diabetes, you have enough on your hands. You should not be smoking or drinking excessively if you can help it. Do you have a history of autoimmune disorders in your family? Do you have a history of dental infections? All of these factors can contribute to your dental health and make the process of dental implants more subdued and prolonged.
When you get dental implants metal anchors are drilled into your jaw through your gum line. The longest parts of the process involve osseointegration, where your jaw and gums fuse with the dental implant anchor. If you have diabetes, this process will take longer. If you have diabetes and a history of dental infections or tobacco use, it can become a compound issue.


After your surgery

Once you have had the initial implant surgery there will be a complicated post operation care routine, which will require diligent hygiene and limit your diet. This is a good time to reassess what your nutrition and eating habits look like, and should be done in conjunction with your care team and a nutritionist. You want to limit eating food which will inflame or injure the implants and scar tissue, you need to let the implants heal and fuse. You cannot smoke or use tobacco products during this time.

I have diabetes, are dental implants right for me?

Dental implants can change your life. If you are struggling to eat and enjoy the foods you love because your teeth are decaying or your mouth is always in pain, implants can be the solution. Dental implants can help patients live a happier lifestyle and eat the foods that are good for them, because they allow the patient to actually chew the foods they choose. Oftentimes, with severe tooth decay, patients are limited to only eating foods of convenience for chewing. Dental implants can actually strengthen your jaw and chewing muscles, and bone grafting options can be used for patients you need more jaw support for dental implants. Dental implants can absolutely be the right choice for you if you are looking to eat healthy, live healthy, and smile big.

Denture Stabilization