Reviewed by Dr. DJ Lemieux, DMD

Dental implants are an effective and long-lasting solution for replacing missing teeth. With a success rate of over 95%, they provide both cosmetic and functional benefits. However, people with diabetes may wonder if they are eligible candidates for dental implant surgery.

In this blog, we will discuss the relationship between diabetes and dental implants and answer the question: Can I get dental implants if I have diabetes?

Table of Contents

Understanding Diabetes and its Impact on Oral Health

Diabetes impacts dental health in several ways, making it a crucial factor in the decision-making process for dental implants:

  • Blood sugar levels: High blood sugar levels can lead to an increased risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health issues.
  • Dry mouth: Diabetic patients often have dry mouth due to decreased saliva production, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva helps neutralize acids and wash away food particles, so low saliva levels can create an environment where bacteria thrive, increasing the risk of oral health issues like cavities and gum inflammation. Increased bacteria can also cause peri-implantitis, which is an infection around the dental implant.
  • Slower healing: High blood sugar levels can also slow down the healing process, making it more challenging for the body to recover after dental implant surgery.
  • Periodontal disease: Patients with diabetes have a higher risk of developing gum disease because diabetes can weaken the patient’s immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections like periodontal disease. 

Risk Factors for Dental Implant Failure in Diabetic Patients

For diabetic patients, certain risk factors can increase the likelihood of dental implant failure:

  • Uncontrolled diabetes: The biggest risk factor is uncontrolled blood sugar levels, which can hinder the healing process.
  • Oral hygiene: Poor oral hygiene is a significant risk factor for implant failure in any patient.
  • Gum disease: Existing gum disease can compromise the stability of the implant.

Steps to Increase Success Rates

Before you can be considered a suitable candidate for dental implants, your surgeon will carefully evaluate your overall health, including diabetes management. You will have to meet the following criteria to be able to go ahead with the surgery.

  1. Get diabetes under control: Your A1C levels must be within the recommended range, typically below 7%. If your diabetes is poorly controlled, you will have to wait to have surgery.
  2. Team approach: Your surgeon and your primary care physician or endocrinologist should work together to evaluate the status of your overall health. Your surgeon will need to talk with your doctor about any medications you are taking and if your diabetes in well-controlled.
  3. Plan ahead: Before your surgery, it’s important that you understand the importance of good oral hygiene and keeping your A1C under control. Knowing how to do both will have a significant impact on the success of your dental implants. We recommend consulting with a dietician to learn what foods promote healing. This is especially important if you struggle to keep your A1C levels under control.  A diabetic nutritionist will be able to identify any changes you should make in your diet.
  4. Quit smoking: Smoking is detrimental to the success of dental implants. If you smoke, we recommend that you quit smoking before considering dental implants.

Before Dental Implant Surgery

  • Ensure blood sugar levels are stable.
  • Have a dental check-up to treat any oral health issues like tooth decay or gum disease.
  • Consult with both your dentist and doctor about your plan to manage diabetes before and after surgery.

After Dental Implant Surgery

  • Follow all post-operative care instructions from your oral surgeon.
  • Monitor blood sugar levels closely to ensure they remain stable.
  • Eat healthy and drink plenty of water.
  • Continue with regular dental visits for check-ups and cleanings.

Dental Implants in Mesa, AZ

While diabetes is a risk factor for dental implant failure, controlled diabetes significantly reduces these risks. Proper management of blood sugar levels, maintaining excellent oral hygiene, and a balanced diet are crucial steps for patients with diabetes considering dental implant surgery.

With these measures in place, diabetic patients can successfully undergo implant treatment, restoring their smile and functionality akin to that of a natural tooth.

At AZ Max Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, we are committed to helping our patients with diabetes assess their suitability for dental implants. Our team will work closely with you and your healthcare providers to minimize the risk of infection and maximize the success rate of your implants, ensuring a smooth and effective treatment process.

If you are searching for an oral surgeon in Mesa, dental implants in Mesa, AZ or an oral surgeon near me, we can help. Call or text (480) 830-5866 or complete the online inquiry form to book a free dental implant consultation.