Dental Implants for Diabetics

We are proud to offer dental implant treatments to a variety of patients, including those who are diabetic. Here at our Edinburgh practice, we understand that our diabetic patients are slightly more vulnerable to a number of dental health issues including gum disease and tooth/bone loss.

Many diabetic patients are aware that the condition can predispose them to lower levels of success rates. However, our practice boasts highly skilled dentists, who use only the most advanced dental technology available. This ensures that the risk of any infection or other post-surgery complications can be kept to an absolute minimum.

What are dental implants?

Simply put, dental implants are a permanent type of tooth restoration. They are ideal for those with:

  • One or more missing teeth
  • Ill-fitting dentures

Dental implants come in the form of a small titanium rod, which is directly placed into the jawbone, through the gums. For this reason the surgery is quite invasive, which raises the question of whether or not implants are suitable for diabetics.

When the implant has been placed it is left to heal for around six months, during this time it fuses to the jawbone in a process known as ‘osseointegration’. This process ensures that the implants remain stable and functional. Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime and ultimately act as the natural teeth once did.

So, can I have implants if I’m diabetic?

There is evidence to suggest that those with correctly-controlled diabetes are less likely to suffer dental implant failure.

Our dentists carefully examine all patients to ensure their suitability and will determine if diabetics have their condition under control. It is imperative that our diabetic patients follow strict glycemic level control, before and during the implant process. This is because the healing process in diabetics is already slightly impaired, in comparison with non diabetics.

Our specialists will also note any bone loss, which is often present within diabetes sufferers. If the loss is too great the patient will be referred for a bone graft or will be recommended an alternative treatment.

It is generally suggested that diabetics are likely to suffer from higher rates of periodontal disease. Our dentists will not consider implant treatment if there are any signs of this. It is important for all of our patients, regardless of them being diabetic, to maintain high standards of oral hygiene when the implants have been fitted.

Are there any potential complications?

Unfortunately every form of surgery comes with minor risks. Complications that may affect diabetes sufferers in particular, include:

  • Longer healing times
  • Impaired healing resulting in implant failure
  • Increased susceptibility of infection
  • Bone loss
  • Development of periodontal disease

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