Are Dental Implants Suitable for Diabetics?

Dental implants can be an effective way to fill missing gaps in your teeth; however, this may not be a suitable option for every patient. If you're diabetic, your dentist may feel that an implant is a risky option that may not work as well as it should. Why does diabetes increase the risk of implant failure?

Diabetes and Gum Disease

According to Colgate, you may be more likely to develop gum disease if you're a diabetic, especially if you aren't controlling your condition as well as you should. People with diabetes may be more prone to getting the infections that cause gum disease and less able to fight them off. This may pose a problem if you want to replace a missing tooth with an implant.

Gum Disease and Dental Implants

Dentists won't use implants on patients unless their gums are in good health and show no future potential for problems. Typically, implants are more likely to fail if you have or go on to develop gum disease, which may affect the security of the implant.

Gum disease doesn't just affect your gums; it can also lead to bone loss in your jaw. If you don't have enough bone to hold an implant, it can't sit securely in your mouth. Plus, if you lose bone after an implant, it may become loose and fall out. If your dentist feels that your gums are not in a good enough condition to hold an implant because of your diabetes, you may not be able to get an implant.

Controlling Your Diabetes May Help

You're more at risk of developing gum disease if you don't control your diabetes. For example, according to the Better Health Channel, you're more likely to develop gum disease if your blood glucose levels aren't correct. If you manage your glucose levels well, this may not be as much of an issue, especially if you also make sure to maintain your oral health by taking care of your teeth and gums. If you manage both, you may be suitable for treatment.

Tip: If you do have gum disease, make sure to have it treated by your dentist, even if you're not considering having an implant. Gum disease can mess around with your blood sugar levels, which may improve once you've sorted your gum disease problems.

Implant Alternatives

Even if your dentist agrees to go ahead with your implant, you may develop problems in the future if you do develop diabetes related gum disease. If you're worried about losing the implant later, or if your dentist feels that your diabetes makes you an unsuitable candidate for an implant, ask about other options. For example, you may be able to replace teeth with dentures, bridges or crowns.