A trip to the dentist is daunting enough without worrying whether you can have dental implants if you have diabetes. But rest assured, we’re here to guide you through everything you need to know.
Diabetes is a complicated disease, and unfortunately, it affects many parts of your body. Sadly, your teeth and gums are no exception.
You might be wondering if diabetes will stop you from getting dental implants if you need them. And the answer is: absolutely not! With the right care and treatment, dental implants are an excellent option for patients with diabetes.
So, if you have diabetes and you’re feeling anxious about making the decision to get dental implants, don’t worry.
The problem with diabetes and dental implants
It might seem a bit weird that diabetes would affect your teeth and gums, but it does. In particular, it leaves you at a higher risk of developing Periodontitis, aka gum disease. According to recent studies, the higher risk of gum disease comes from the increased presence of glucose in your saliva, which can lead to a bigger build-up of harmful bacteria.
This means that if you have diabetes, you’re much more likely to develop gum disease at an earlier age, and if left untreated, you may find yourself in need of dental replacement.
If you have diabetes, the other problem is that it takes your body longer to heal from surgical procedures than other people. It’s just the way it goes. And suppose your diabetes is not under control for any reason. In that case, there is a risk that your body will reject the dental implants altogether, but this is not a given.
But even so, if you have controlled diabetes, studies show that even though the recovery time may be slower, there is little difference in the success of dental implant procedures compared to someone without diabetes.
Which is better for diabetics – dentures or dental implants?
We know that recovery times are slower for those with diabetes. As such, some people decide to opt for dentures instead, believing it to be a miracle solution with minimal risk.
The reason people might opt for dentures over dental implants is that they are simpler and easier to install, but that doesn’t mean they are more efficient over time.
You see, with gum disease, there is a high risk of jawbone loss over time. And this is also the case with dentures. This is because they help accelerate the rate at which your bone deteriorates thanks to the pressure they place on the bone whenever you chew or talk, causing the bone to wear down.
On the other hand, dental implants can help save that bone as they are permanently secured into your jawbone, eliminating the movement and grinding that dentures can cause some people.
This means that dental implants can give you long-lasting results that help better protect you from the consequences of gum disease. And for most people, with the right care, their dental implants will last a minimum of 20-30 years. So you can rest easy knowing that your mouth is well protected with dental implants in there.
Things diabetics can do to help improve dental implant success
As we know, having diabetes can mean longer recovery times and a slightly bigger risk of the implants being rejected by the body. But there are plenty of easy steps you can take before, during, and after your dental implants have been put in to make sure you give yourself the best chance for complete dental implant success.
Brush regularly and floss
We know that having diabetes can mean higher glucose levels in your saliva. And as our parents told us when we were kids, “sugar will rot your teeth!”
So making sure to brush 2-3 times a day will help reduce the amount of sugar and consequent bacteria build-up that gum disease love. Flossing will also allow you to clean those hard-to-reach parts that your toothbrush simply can’t get to.
Get regular dental check-ups
Knowing that diabetes can accelerate gum disease means you should prioritize appointments to see your dentist for check-ups. That way, your dentist can spot any potential signs of infection or tooth decay before they become a huge problem.
After the procedure, this will also mean your dental implants stay in the best condition possible, meaning they will last for many years to come.
So, just as you would prioritize your regular self-care hair appointments or gym sessions, make sure your dentist is added to that list!
Getting control of your blood sugar levels
It’s much easier said than done, I know. But getting a handle on your blood sugar levels will really help your oral health and, in doing so, the success of your dental implants.
We know it’s difficult to have diabetes, and you’ve probably been told a million times how to control it, so we won’t lecture you on how to look after your body.
But, if you are having trouble getting your blood sugar under control, get in touch with your doctor and see if there is any treatment or plan they can suggest to help you. Your gums will thank you for it.
Do not ignore the signs of gum disease
Bleeding when brushing, receding gums, bad breath, loose teeth… your mouth has many ways to tell you it might need help. And while we know how daunting it is to potentially have gum disease, catching it early means we’ll be able to stop it in its tracks. And in doing so, your dental implants will be able to continue doing their job.
How you can be supported throughout your dental implant journey
It’s important that your dentist recognizes that deciding to get dental implants is a big one, especially if you are worried about how your diabetes will affect them.
Here is how you should be supported throughout your dental implant journey as a person with diabetes:
Thorough pre-checks and screenings
When you arrive for your first appointment, your dentist should ask lots of questions about your past. No, they’re not being nosey. They just want to make sure they know everything they need to know about you to ensure they give you the best quality treatment. Everyone is different, and they want to make sure every treatment they provide is tailor-made to suit you.
Gum disease care
If you do have signs of gum disease, don’t despair. They’ll make sure to treat that first before moving forward with your dental implants so that you have the best base to start your dental implant journey.
Talking you through the process
Dentist visits can be scary, and they should appreciate how brave you are for coming to see them.
That’s why they should discuss everything you need to know about how dental implant procedures work, what you will need to do before, and how to care for them afterwards.
They’ll also let you know of alternative treatments available so you can make an informed decision to get your dental implants. After all, they want you to feel confident in your decision.
Providing a comprehensive treatment plan
Once you have made your decision to get dental implants, they will provide you with a detailed treatment plan that outlines exactly what you can expect in the coming days and weeks. And as the plan is tailor-made to you, it will include any extra information you might need to know about how to look after your dental implants with diabetes.
Keeping in contact during recovery
Just because you have your dental implants in, it doesn’t mean your relationship is over! They should want to make sure you are recovering well, and as such, we will keep in contact with you throughout the recovery process to do just that.
So, don’t worry, you will never be alone on this journey.
And if you have any doubts or concerns at any stage of your dental implant treatment, you can always contact them at the clinic.
Your dentist will be there for you
Having diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t have dental implants. In fact, with the right care, you have every reason to expect success with your dental implants for years to come.
Smile Stories are a clinic providing dental implants in Bournemouth.