Replacing missing teeth with dental implants used to be considered a poor option for patients with diabetes. Fortunately for diabetics hoping to restore their smiles with implants, the surgery is no longer unavailable to them. If the patient meets the criteria as a good candidate for implants, and agrees to follow the post-operative care instructions, dental implants can be a successful treatment.
The problem is that implants and diabetes haven’t been a good combination when performed in patients who do not have their diabetes well controlled. When diabetes is uncontrolled, bacterial plaque can build up along the gums and cause oral infections. This may lead to gum disease, tooth loss, and bone deterioration. This has made implants risky in these patients, because the treatment fails if the jawbone can’t properly fuse with the titanium implant. Uncontrolled diabetes may prevent the bone from growing properly, causing loose implants that may fall out.
However, there is hope for diabetics who have their disease under control. Results from studies show that the success rate is nearly perfect for patients who have their diabetes in check before the implant surgery, and maintain control throughout the process. This gives them the best chance of the implant fully growing into the jawbone to provide a solid foundation for the crown. Taking antibiotics prior to treatment is also helpful to implant treatment success.
Following the dentist’s instructions for aftercare is also important. Avoiding infections after surgery is critical because that can create complications with a patient’s diabetes. Also, these patients are more susceptible to severe periodontal disease. Getting dental implants is definitely a viable option for diabetes patients who are committed both before and after surgery.