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  • Writer's pictureDr Samintharaj Kumar

Dental Implants and Diabetes: Important Considerations

In today's blog, I would like to share something intriguing. Dental implants for diabetics! Allow me to share some valuable insights. Living with diabetes necessitates careful evaluation when contemplating dental implants due to the condition's potential impact on oral health and implant outcomes. As a dental surgeon, let me address critical considerations for diabetic patients thinking of dental implants. Dental implants, regarded as an innovative remedy for tooth loss, requires thoughtful deliberation for individuals managing diabetes.

One significant concern is the effect of diabetes on gum health. Diabetics are more prone to gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, due to factors such as impaired immune function and decreased saliva production. Gum disease can lead to inflammation, bone loss, and eventual tooth loss if left untreated. When considering dental implants, it's essential for diabetic patients to address any existing gum disease through professional periodontal treatment to ensure the long-term success of their implants.

Insufficiently controlled diabetes can weaken bone density necessary for supporting dental implants, heightening the risk of implant instability and failure. Consequently, diabetic individuals may need additional bone grafting procedures to bolster bone volume before implant placement. These procedures aim to enhance bone density, facilitating better integration of implants with the jawbone during osseointegration. Addressing bone quality issues in advance can improve the long-term success and stability of dental implants in diabetic patients, reducing the likelihood of complications and implant failure.

Another concern is the increased risk of peri-implantitis among diabetic individuals. This condition mirrors gum disease but specifically impacts the tissues surrounding dental implants. Diabetic patients face a greater susceptibility to peri-implantitis due to compromised immune function and delayed wound healing associated with diabetes. Early signs of peri-implantitis include swelling, redness, and bleeding around the gums near dental implants. Additionally, patients may experience discomfort or pain in the implant area. Early intervention is crucial in mitigating the risk of implant failure and preserving the longevity of dental implants in diabetic patients.

I frequently witness the effects of diabetic neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes resulting in nerve damage, on oral sensation. This condition, arising from diabetes-related nerve damage, disturbs typical oral feelings. Symptoms vary but typically involve numbness, tingling, or pain in the mouth or jaw, hindering the early detection of dental implant-related issues like infection or irritation. Patients might also encounter changes in taste perception or challenges with chewing or swallowing.

In cases where patients with diabetes have dental implants, I usually closely monitor their oral health and the condition of the implants. Regular check-ups and evaluations are conducted to assess the stability of the implants and detect any signs of complications such as infection or inflammation promptly.

I work with medical practitioners at Nuffield Medical and also a Functional Nutritionist who will be able to co-manage your diabetic condition and perhaps even work towards potentially reversing it whilst during your implant journey with me.

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