Hands down, dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth. It’s the only form of tooth replacement that originates below the gum line, attaching to the jawbone like natural tooth roots. Still, there are certain situations that can make it more difficult to receive a dental implant. Because diabetes can contribute to so many peripheral problems, does a diagnosis rule out the possibility of getting an implant? Read on to find out!
How Diabetes Can Impact Oral Health
People who suffer from diabetes have a dysfunctional pancreas, which means they have a problem breaking down glucose (sugar) in the blood. This can make the blood toxic and contribute to inflammation, acidity, a compromised immune system and other serious issues.
When it comes to oral health, having diabetes can increase the chances of developing gum disease, a condition that affects well over half the adult population in America.
What does that mean for diabetics looking to replace their missing teeth with implants? Is it still a possibility? Yes, it is!
Addressing Gum Disease
Gum disease is the result of plaque accumulation beneath the gum line that causes infection and inflammation of the soft tissue. If the condition goes untreated, there can be gum recession and jawbone loss, two issues that can prevent you from receiving an implant.
The following steps to the dental implant procedure demonstrate why it’s so important to have healthy gum tissue and adequate jawbone:
- After an initial incision is made into the gums to gain access, a hole is drilled into the jawbone so the implant can be attached.
- Over a few months, the implant fuses with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration.
- After successful fusion, an abutment and restoration can be added to fully rebuild your smile.
The dental implant process has a 95% success rate, but if there is untreated gum disease, the percentages can fall drastically. Without healthy gum tissue and sufficient jawbone density, the implant can unseat and cause a painful infection.
The Necessity of Treating Diabetes
Along with seeking treatment for gum disease, it’s vital to your overall health to be under doctor’s care for diabetes. Untreated, it can sometimes make it a challenge to recover from simple wounds, which could further complicate healing from implant surgery.
By being proactive and getting the treatment you need, you can control diabetes. Are dental implants safe for diabetics? With the right strategy and follow-through, they most certainly are, which means you have a way to get back to leading a happier and healthier life!
About the Author
Dr. Mark Gray is a graduate of the University of Texas Dental School in Houston. Throughout his nearly 40-year career, he has remained an avid learner, taking several hours of continuing education. A Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, Dr. Gray treats gum disease and places dental implants at his private practice. He can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.