Living with diabetes can mean having to think about all the things that are affected by the condition. It can also mean having to forego certain things in the name of keeping your diabetes under control. You may have heard in the past that those with diabetes have a much higher risk of issues and complications following a dental implant. We now know that while the risk of an implant not going as expected for someone with diabetes is higher than a regular person, implants aren’t nearly as prone to failure as the dental community once thought. If you’ve thought about implants in the past and decided against them, it might be time to take another look and see if they’re right for you. Even if you’ve suffered bone loss as a result of diabetes, there may be options available to you.
Diabetes and dental implants
Not only can dental implants improve your quality of life through cosmetic appearance, but replacing missing teeth can even improve your overall health. Implants can help you avoid the inflammation, irritation, and infections that are common with dentures. This can reduce your risk of dangerous periodontal disease as well as post-implant infections and complications.
It is true that people with diabetes will most likely require specialized care before and after the oral surgery, studies are now emerging that indicate dental implants are safe for people with controlled diabetes as long as their overall health is aligned with pre-operative standards and health guidelines. These guidelines will come up as a part of your consultation before beginning the process of receiving dental implants. Even if you have trouble meeting the standards, your oral surgeon and your doctor can work with you to get you on a plan that will help you get there.
Bone loss and dental implants
During your initial consultations you’ll likely receive X-rays to examine the health of your teeth, gums, and jaw. If it’s determined that you’ve had bone loss, a bone graft will likely be necessary. A healthy jaw provides a strong foundation to your natural teeth, allowing them to stay in place and stand up to forces like chewing. If you’ve lost bone in your jaw, that means that the foundation is no longer sound.
Dental implants require a sufficient amount of bone in order for them to be placed properly. If a dental implant is placed in an area without enough bone, there’s a good chance that implant won’t be able to permanently affix and will fail. Bone grafting is a solution to this issue where bone from another portion of your jaw is moved to the site where the dental implant will take place. This will mean the process of placing the dental implant will take more time, but the risk of needing to make multiple visits to address issues with the implant will be much lower.
For people with diabetes, “no” or “I can’t” is something you might hear or say often. When it comes to dental implants, even if you’ve experienced bone loss, we’re here to do everything we can to arrive at a “yes” and help to improve your smile for years to come. The process may be harder than it is for someone without diabetes, but we’re here to guide you along the way. Schedule a visit and we can begin and help you bring your full smile back.