Dental implants and Diabetes mellitus

 Can You Get Dental Implants with Diabetes?

Many people, including dentists, have thought for a long time that dental implants would not work well in people with diabetes. The oft-believed idea has been examined many times by different dentists and periodontists and the conclusion has largely been the same through the years – diabetics can get successful tooth replacement with a tooth implant. 


The Original Problem

Since a lot is known about diabetes mellitus, it was felt that having high blood sugar levels would cause problems with the healing process. Type 2 diabetes certainly does cause healing problems and it is especially notorious for attacking the extremities and the eyes. With a dental implant, it had been believed that it would lead to failure. 

To determine whether this was true or not, a number of studies were collected and reviewed by researchers in India in order to determine whether implants had been successful or not in diabetic patients. If so, they could be recommended to patients on a much larger scale and dentists could place them with greater confidence. 

The suspicion that diabetes would likely lead to a much greater failure rate was not unfounded. It has been known for many years that diabetes can easily lead to periodontitis – a severe form of gum disease that causes many to lose their teeth. It is also true that periodontitis can rather easily lead to dental implant failure, if not treated quickly. The healing rate when sugar is high is much slower than in people with normal blood sugar levels, raising the risk of infection, which can cause the jawbone not to attach to the implant (which is necessary to hold it in place).


The Research

After looking at many studies, the researchers saw that there was a high rate of success when giving implants to diabetics. The key was not found in whether a person was diabetic or not, but whether the diabetes is controlled or not. The failure rate was found to be much higher in a large number of studies. 


Controlled Diabetes

The result of this study, along with others, revealed that people with diabetes that is controlled is almost as likely to be as successful as those without diabetes. The studies showed that when diabetes was well-controlled, there was a success rate that ranged between 92 and 97 percent. The rate for non-diabetics is currently about 95 percent, which means that as long as diabetes stays under control that you can get and keep dental implants. A rate of about 89.7 percent still had their implants after 10 years


Why Gum Disease Is a Problem

Gum disease, particularly periodontitis, is a serious threat to an implant. The disease is caused by bacteria that are normally found in the mouth. It is usually kept under control by other bacteria in a healthy mouth, but it feeds on sugar and produces acid. 

Once the bacteria get into the gums, it also has access to your bloodstream – where it can find plenty of sugar – especially if the diabetes is not regulated well. It multiplies faster when more sugar is present. An immune system reaction is caused by the bacteria and acid, and it starts to attack your gums, the structures that support your teeth, and your jawbone. It will destroy them and your teeth will become loose and may even fall out. This is why it can be so harmful to dental implants. 


Requirements for Implants

Before anyone can get a single dental implant or complete replacement of their teeth, it is necessary to have a consultation. You will need to have good health, good jawbone size, and healthy gums. If you do not have these qualifications, dental surgery can be given to prepare you for it. 

Overall, the studies looked at indicate there is practically no difference between diabetics and non-diabetics as long as the diabetes is even moderately controlled. When poorly controlled, the success rate is lower. When there is a failure, it is not certain whether it was caused by the amount of time you had diabetes or not.


A Possible Solution

One dental implant system that may enable diabetics to get around any of these problems is called all-on-4 dental implants. This places all of your dentures on four dental implants on either the top or lower jaw. This system does not depend on how much bone you have in your jaw and may be the ideal way for a diabetic to get some great teeth. 


If you have wanted to get dental implants but thought that you could not because of diabetes mellitus, there may be hope for you. Set up a FREE consultation with Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist. He performs all kinds of dental implant surgery with lasers, including the all on 4 dental implants systems. His offices are in the Carrollton, Cedar Hill, Mockingbird and Grapevine, TX areas and nearly all dental insurance plans are accepted. For a consultation or dental checkup, you can contact his office today at 214-731-0123