I am 62 years old and after wearing dentures 8 years, I am ready for dental implants. I am already noticing some bone shrinkage and facial sagging so I feel that I need to act quickly. I know that dental implants are a great solution but I am a little hesitant and I have some concerns because I am diabetic. My worst nightmare is to go through the expense and time of getting implants only to find that they will not heal because I am diabetic. If I have an increased risk of not healing because of my medical condition, should I just stay away from the implants? Thanks. Dianna
Dianna – Diabetes can slow the healing process of any wound or injury, but it doesn’t mean that you should avoid dental implants.
Insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, helps to control blood glucose levels. If the pancreas stops producing insulin (type 1 diabetes) or doesn’t produce enough insulin (type 2 diabetes), then blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels can become too low or too high. Why can there be a problem with healing?
High blood-sugar levels affect the healing process
When blood sugar levels are too high, it affects the body’s inflammatory response. Inflammation is needed to help the body heal, but if it is chronic, inflammation can be damaging to healthy tissue. When diabetes is not well managed, inflammation can become chronic. Dental implants in patients with poorly controlled diabetes can be successful too, but the healing process will be longer.
Managing diabetes – the key to healing
Well-managed diabetes control blood sugar levels and helps prevent chronic inflammation. If your diabetes is under control, you will likely be a good candidate for dental implants. Before you receive dental implants, your medical history is reviewed. Your implant dentist will ensure that your diabetes is well controlled first.
Dental implants can help a patient eat better, which in turn can improve the blood sugar levels. So implants shouldn’t be ruled out just because you have diabetes. Each patient case is different. Consult with a skilled implant dentist and your primary care doctor to determine if you are a candidate for this treatment. Your doctors will work with you to ensure your glucose level is sufficient to provide the best outcome for your dental implants.
This post is sponsored by Naperville implant dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.