Dental Implants

Dental implants and diabetes

Dental implants are a groundbreaking dental treatment that is designed to replace one or several missing teeth. They are great for long-term denture wearers and for those who are looking for a more permanent form of tooth restoration. Unfortunately, dental implants aren't for everyone and it is diabetics who find they are least suited to them. If you are diabetic and looking into receiving dental implants, then this is the article for you!

What are Dental Implants?

Simply put, dental implants are designed to replace one or more missing teeth. They come in the form of small titanium rods, which are placed directly into the jawbone through the gum. Abutments are found on the head of the implant, which are ideal for the attachment of the actual tooth restoration.

Tooth restorations come in the form of dental crowns, dental bridges and dentures and mimic real teeth. Dental implants offer patients a long term guarantee of support. They also restore speech and chewing abilities as well as the aesthetic of the smile. The process is relatively quick and onlookers won't even notice that you've undergone any cosmetic dental work!

Can I have Implants If I'm Diabetic?

Unfortunately, if you suffer from diabetes and you don't have it under control, studies show that you are highly likely to suffer from dental implant failure. If you're a smoker, suffer from substantial bone loss and are diabetic then most dentists will not even contemplate giving you a dental implant. This is because the risk factors are too great.

Due to the nature of diabetes, patients are more likely to suffer from high levels of gum disease and tooth loss, which means in the implant process, infection is inevitable. However, dentists have stated themselves that if the diabetes is fully under control then the patients is a good a candidate as any. Healing rates and success rates are equally as high, in diabetes-controlled patients. It is imperative that the glycaemic levels of the patient are well under control before any surgery can commence.

What Happens In The Procedure?

  1. Firstly, the patient is placed under a general anaesthetic. This means that discomfort is kept to a complete minimum.
  2. The dental implants are placed directly into the jawbone, through a small incision which is made in the gum.
  3. Then, the area is stitched up and left to heal. This is a process known as osseointegration, in which the implant is left to integrate with the jawbone. This provides maximum support for the tooth restoration, which will be placed at a later date.
  4. After several months, check-ups will then occur and providing everything is okay, with no infections etc. the tooth restoration is then fitted. This can be in the form of a crown, bridge or denture.

After Care

It is very important to discuss the chance of implant failure with your local cosmetic dentist, especially if you are diabetic. The process of receiving a dental implant is usually relatively straight forward and highly successful, and there is only a slightly higher chance of failure seen in diabetic patients.