Dental implants are a great treatment option for people who need a permanent tooth replacement as long as they are in good overall health. Certain risks are always involved with the implantation process, but patients with diabetes may have increased risks, so dental implants are not the best choice for all diabetic dental patients. While many people with diabetes are perfectly suitable candidates for dental implants, there are a number of factors that should be assessed with your dentist before you pursue implants.

Diabetes is an Increased Risk for Dental Implants

Gum disease is the main culprit when it comes to diabetes and dental implants. Patients with diabetes are more likely than other patients to have gum disease, but during the early stages, gum disease won’t likely cause any significant problems. However, if your body isn’t able to fight off the bacteria, a more advanced level of the disease in which the gums pull away from the teeth may occur. Known as periodontitis, this disease can weaken the bone and result in tooth loss. Patients with diabetes won’t be able to get their dental implants until they no longer exhibit symptoms of gum disease, but the presence of diabetes can also increase their chance of developing an infection after surgery.

Diabetic Patients and Dental Implants

If you have diabetes and are in need of a tooth implant, you might still be able to pursue dental implants. However, several factors should be considered and discussed with your dentist. Your diabetic history, including the type of diabetes you have and the length of time you’ve had it are big factors. Type 2 diabetes is more treatable and controllable, so getting dental implants is less risky than for a patient with type 1 diabetes. Likewise, people who have just recently been diagnosed with diabetes are better candidates than patients who have been living with the disease for several years or longer.

Your overall medical or health history is also going to be important in determining whether you should pursue dental implants. Have you had a successful oral surgery in the past? If so, chances are good that your implant surgery will also be successful. Patients with diabetes often require longer healing times than other patients, so considering how you’ve recovered after surgery in the past will help to predict how you’ll handle a future dental implant procedure. 

Talk to Your Dentist 

If you are interested in dental implants, but aren’t sure if you’re a candidate because of diabetes or other health condition, your dentist is your best source of information. He or she will be able to evaluate your unique health situation to determine the type of dental implants that might work best for you while minimizing your risk of infection or other problems. Taking this information into account with your overall health and medical history, you can make the right decision about whether or not dental implants are right for you.