Are Dental Implants Safe for Diabetics?

Serving Greater Philadelphia, including Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, & Newtown Square.

While dental implants are the most effective solution to replace missing teeth, they aren’t right for everyone. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes, can potentially complicate your body’s ability to properly heal after dental implant placement. Diabetes doesn’t necessarily prevent you from getting dental implants, but you will need to discuss these health concerns with Dr. Bellisario during your initial consultation. After conducting a comprehensive evaluation of your teeth and gums, Dr. Bellisario will determine whether it is safe for you to move forward with your dental implant procedure.

Diabetes Impacts Your Oral Health

diabetes illustrationDiabetes is a condition that occurs when your body is unable to properly process sugars. This condition has a widespread impact on your health and can affect your entire body over time, including your oral health.

When you have diabetes, your teeth, gums and jawbone may be impacted since the harmful bacteria that turns into plaque and tartar grows much more rapidly. If these structures have sustained any serious damage, it may increase your risk of implant failure.

Dental implants are placed into your jawbone and must fuse with the bone during a process called osseointegration. Diabetics may face the following challenges during the osseointegration process:

  • A compromised ability for the bone to heal may result in implant failure
  • A diminished ability to fight off infection, which may increase the likelihood of implant failure
  • Deterioration of the jawbone may prevent you from being able to accommodate the placement of the dental implant

Diabetes and Gum Disease

One of the primary oral health issues associated with diabetes is an increased risk of gum disease. While this isn’t necessarily a problem for diabetics who are able to successfully control their blood sugar, those with uncontrolled diabetes face a significantly higher risk of gum disease.

Often, your body struggles to fight off infection when you have diabetes. This can result in gum disease progressing to the more advanced stage, periodontitis, more rapidly. When you have periodontitis, the gums start to pull away from your teeth, weakening the bone. Once this occurs, you may no longer be able to accommodate the placement of a dental implant.

Other Factors Impacting Dental Implant Candidacy

There are other factors which may impact whether you can undergo dental implant surgery with diabetes:

  • How well you control your blood sugar
  • Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • How long you’ve had diabetes

As mentioned earlier, individuals who are able to control their blood sugar are more likely to be considered dental implant candidates. When your diabetes is under control, your ability to heal and fight infection isn’t as compromised. You are also less likely to experience serious oral health issues that typically occur when your diabetes is not under control.

Another important factor to consider is the type of diabetes you have. Type 1 diabetes, which typically develops early in life, can often present greater challenges to control. This may make dental implant surgery riskier for type 1 diabetes patients.

Type 2 diabetes develops later in life and is usually caused by lifestyle choices such as a poor diet that is high in sugars and carbohydrates. This form of the disease is typically more treatable and controllable, especially if you are willing to make the lifestyle adjustments necessary to keep your blood sugar regulated.

One final factor to consider is how long you’ve had diabetes. In general, patients who have only developed diabetes recently are more likely to be dental implant candidates than people who have been living with the disease for many years. This is largely due to the fact that it takes time for diabetes to impact your oral health.

What Are My Options if I can’t Get Dental Implants?

If Dr. Bellisario determines that you aren’t a good dental implant candidate, he may recommend one of the following alternative tooth replacement options:

The best way to find out whether you can get dental implants with diabetes is to speak with Dr. Bellisario in person. During your initial consultation, it’s important that you discuss your medical history with him in detail. This will help him recommend the right solution for your unique situation.

Contact our Ardmore Dentist

If you are missing one or more teeth, please contact The Office of Dr. Bellisario using the form on this page or call 610-642-7024 today to schedule a consultation. We serve patients in Ardmore, Bryn Mawr and throughout the Philadelphia area.