While diabetes is not contraindicated for patients who want dental implants, poorly controlled diabetes may raise the risk of complications. Before considering dental implants, work with your physician to make sure that you have tight control over your blood sugar levels, and be sure to discuss your diabetes with your dentist prior to your procedure. Here are some ways poorly managed diabetes can complicate your dental implant outcome.
Poor Osseointegration And Implant Failure Risk
If you have poorly managed diabetes, the osseointegration process may be impaired. Osseointegration is the process in which bone connects or fuses with a prosthetic implant, and in dentistry, the implant refers to the dental implant, or the titanium implant rod.
Persistently elevated blood glucose levels also impair circulation, which can lead to a higher risk of infection and implant failure. To reduce this risk, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics and an antiseptic oral rinse known as chlorhexidine to reduce inflammation, reduce infection risk, and promote healing. When diabetes is well-managed, the risks associated with dental implants are low, and in fact, may be equal to those of non-diabetics.
Higher Periodontitis Risk
Diabetes causes hyperglycemia, which can lead to a higher risk for periodontitis, slowed wound healing, and tooth loss. When you have good control over your blood sugar levels, getting dental implants may actually improve your health. People with poorly managed diabetes often suffer from severe gum disease and loose teeth. Because of these factors, they may be unable to chew or eat the foods recommended on a diabetic diet, including fruits, vegetables, and lean sources of protein.
Implants allow diabetics to have better metabolic function through improved nutritional intake. If your gums bleed profusely, or if you develop gum recession, painful gums, or gum tissue that is intensely red and swollen, see your dentist. If gum disease is not treated in its early stages, periodontitis may develop, which can damage the bones that support your implant screws. While periodontitis can be treated conservatively, in severe cases, your implants may need to be removed so that the underlying bones and soft tissue can heal.
If you have diabetes, see your endocrinologist on a regular basis and monitor your blood glucose levels frequently. In addition, get plenty of exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and follow your therapeutic diet. When your blood glucose levels remain stable, you are more likely to enjoy the many benefits of your dental implants.