Dental implants are an option for those who need a permanent tooth replacement. While anyone can be a candidate for dental implant treatment, there have been concerns over whether or not patients with diabetes could still pursue such a course.
Data from Diabetes UK states that there are over 4 million people with the condition, including those with undiagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. In what ways, then, does diabetes affect dental implant treatment?
Diabetes and How it Affects the Body
Diabetes is an umbrella term for a group of diseases that affect how the body processes glucose. With the help of the insulin hormone, the pancreas manages sugar levels in the body. People with diabetes lead the pancreas to cease production of insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or become unresponsive the effects of insulin on the body (Type 2 diabetes).
How Does Implant Placement and Treatment Affect People with Diabetes?
Diabetes may alter the body’s immune reaction to healing, infection and inflammation. As implant placement is a minor surgical process, it creates a wound in the surrounding gum tissue. Unlike their non-diabetic counterparts, the wounds of people with diabetes heal at a slower pace and they may be more prone to infections. As a result, scientists contest whether or not dental implants are safe for those with the condition.
The Importance of Good Glucose Management
Recent studies show that there is no direct association between blood sugar levels and the failure of dental implants. If anything, research shows that dental implants can have a success rate of over 95% in patients with diabetes as long as they practice good glucose management. With good glucose control, people with diabetes can normalise the wound-healing process and maximise the benefits of dental implant treatment. In fact, implant surgery may even encourage people with diabetes to reduce their sugar intake and manage their diets more effectively.
Patients with diabetes often require longer healing times from surgery. A successful dental implant relies simply on getting the blood sugar levels under control which, in turn, can help improve their overall health.