Dry mouth, thrush, gum disease, and delayed healing are all special concerns for our patients with diabetes. The key to avoiding these conditions is having your diabetes under control. But what are your options when infection has weakened teeth beyond repair? In many cases, we recommend dental implants as permanent replacements for damaged teeth. The following are some key issues to understand about implants if you have diabetes.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are artificial replacement teeth that look and perform almost identically to natural teeth. Dental implant surgery provides a welcome alternative to dentures or bridgework, which are less secure in their placement and can damage surrounding healthy teeth.
How do implants work?
Dental implants are specially designed metal cylinders that are surgically placed into your jawbone, essentially becoming a replacement root. The cylinder fuses to the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. Once the implant has successfully bonded with the bone an artificial tooth is then attached.
Are implants effective for patients with diabetes?
Recent studies of dental implants with diabetic patients indicate success rates of higher than 90%. In the rare case that the implant does not fuse properly to the bone, it is removed and the procedure can be repeated.
How do I know if dental implants will work for me?
While the process of implantation takes longer than conventional treatments like bridges, the strength and permanence of implants make them an excellent long-term solution for tooth replacement. If you have diabetes and have lost one or more teeth, and your diabetes is controlled, consider implants. However, if your blood sugar is not under control, we recommend putting off any non-emergency dental care – including implants, dentures, and bridgework – until you’ve worked with your diabetes doctor to control it.
If you have any questions about dental implant surgery or how diabetes can affect your dental health, please let us know. We can assess your situation and advise you on the best course of treatment.