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Living with diabetes can be a challenge, especially if you’ve experienced tooth loss. Dental implants can fix this problem and restore your smile. However, many diabetics wonder if dental implants are the right choice. Let’s explore dental implants to give you an idea of what to expect and to see if they’re the ideal option for you.
The Relationship Between Tooth Loss And Bone Loss
When tooth loss occurs, you’re left with a hole in your mouth where the tooth once was. The alveolar bone that supported the tooth now has nothing to do and begins to deteriorate. Eventually, total bone loss will occur and your mouth will have a caved-in appearance. On top of that, the area where the tooth once was will shift because the surrounding teeth and bone will move towards the hole. This leads to problems with your bite and jaw movement.
In order to keep our bones from deteriorating after tooth loss, a dental implant is inserted into the vacancy left by the missing tooth. Through a process called grafting, your dentist will actually connect the implant to the jawbone so that it can integrate with your bone (osseointegration). Dental implants are made of a biocompatible material (titanium), which means that they are safe and will not be rejected by the body. Instead, dental implants bond easily with the bone to create a stable environment where the implant can act like a real tooth.
What Is The Dental Implantation Procedure Like?
Dental implantation requires multiple dental visits. First, the implant or implants (depending on if you are missing one or multiple teeth) are placed in the mouth through a surgical procedure. Implantation can be done by an oral surgeon or your dentist if they have received special training. After 2-3 months, the osseointegration will occur and the implant will be fully secured into the mouth with an abutment.
The implant or implants you receive will look and feel like your natural teeth. Implants are not noticeable, and unless you tell someone you have one, they will not be able to tell.
Dental Implants And Diabetes: What You Need To Know
If you have diabetes you may still be a good candidate for dental implants. Diabetes often comes with high blood sugar and low insulin levels that can lead to a myriad of possible health problems like vision loss, nerve damage, kidney disease, tooth loss and gum disease. In fact, people who suffer from diabetes are more likely to experience tooth loss and gum disease than those without diabetes.
In general, diabetics are more prone to infection, which can make recovering from surgery risky. The surgery itself will go off without a hitch, but your body may have trouble healing in the months that follow, leading to infection and implant failure. If an implant fails, it needs to be surgically removed, which could lead to more infections. But this doesn’t mean that all diabetics will see post-surgical infections following a dental implantation procedure. If you are in general good health and have been managing your diabetes properly, you may be able to get dental implants.
What Your Dentist Will Do
When you meet with your dentist to discuss dental implantation, they will ask for a detailed medical history. This will help them see how you have been managing your diabetes and if you have a recurrence of infections or have had previous surgery that resulted in healing problems. For example, if you’ve had successful oral surgery in the past and were able to recover nicely, your dentist will take that into consideration. How you responded to other treatments in the past will give the dentist an idea of how you will respond to an implantation procedure.
The type of diabetes you have will also help determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. Type 2 Diabetes is easier to control than Type 1, which makes getting implants less risky. Furthermore, if you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you are more likely to heal properly than if you’ve had the disease for several years.
Diabetics And Oral Health
Your dentist will insist that you maintain a comprehensive oral hygiene routine that involves flossing regularly and brushing twice daily. When you have diabetes you are at risk for oral health issues like gum disease, and maintaining your oral health is a must. In order to keep oral problems at bay, you should also stay hydrated and ensure you are eating the right foods to manage your diabetes.
If you are thinking of getting dental implants but suffer from diabetes, you may still be able to undergo the procedure. Please contact us for more information or to make an appointment.