Diabetes affects more than 29 million people in the United States. If you’re diabetic, you may wonder how diabetes can complicate your health, especially if you have a dental implant.
Diabetes is a health condition that describes a series of metabolic diseases. The diseases affect how the body can produce a sugar known as glucose, which cells use for energy. Insulin is a hormone that regulates glucose levels in the body and is produced by the pancreas. The body needs insulin to help keep glucose levels stable, and when insulin levels aren’t controlled, you can have too much glucose in your blood. There are types of diabetes, each involving a lack of insulin. Type 1 diabetes means the pancreas stops producing insulin, and you’re required to monitor your blood glucose levels, plus have insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the illness. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body can’t produce insulin properly or won’t respond to the insulin. Regulating blood sugar in both types of diabetes is serious, because if too high or too low levels of glucose can have harmful effects. You may develop nerve damage, blindness, kidney disease, and other severe conditions. If you watch your levels carefully, you can manage your disease effectively.
Measuring the way the body regulates blood level involves a Hba1c, a marker in the blood. This molecule can tell doctors what the body’s average blood glucose levels over the last three months. Patients who have a HbA1c level above 6.0 to 6.5% are diagnosed diabetic, while 7% or less levels are often present in diabetics who monitor their glucose control carefully. Type 2 diabetes is manageable and is often controlled with diet, exercise, blood glucose monitoring and regular doctor checkups. A patient’s doctor may also prescribe medication if making these other changes don’t have the desired results. The concern with diabetes is how slow wounds may heal, which could lead to a complication for dental implants.
Wounds in Diabetics
People with diabetes tend to have a slower healing process than non-diabetic individuals. Because wounds can take longer to heal, they’re more at risk for infection. High glucose levels can affect the blood vessels, which reduces blood circulation to the gums, eyes, fingers, toes, and kidneys. When blood sugar levels are high in diabetics, the body’s response to inflammation may also be affected. Inflammation is part of the body’s wound healing process but in diabetics, inflammation can reoccur. Repeated inflammation takes its toll on the body, and may lead to tissue damage. When you receive a dental implant at Dr. Kenneth Cho office in, you need minor surgery, which means you’ll need time to heal. Dentists and doctors have been concerned about diabetics and implants because there’s an increased risk for infection. Recent studies show however that dental implants can be effectively used in diabetic patients.
Although some dentists perform dental implant procedures that complete the new teeth in one day, this is normally not the best choice for diabetic people, since your mouth will need more time to heal. Keeping your doctor and dentist informed on your health is the best way to make sure that you have a successful healing process.
Studies show that patients — those with good glucose control, those with poor glucose control and non-diabetics — all have similar rates of success. The only difference is that patients who have poor glucose control will have longer bone healing times. If this is the case, special precautions may be needed.
The main takeaway is diabetic patients don’t need to avoid getting a dental implant, they just need to rigorously monitor their glucose levels. You will need to follow any care instructions carefully after the procedure.
Diabetics can successfully undergo an implant surgery for any of the types of dental implant procedures that are done in the cosmetic dentistry field. If you have put dental implants on the back burner because of your diabetes, contact Dr. Kenneth Cho for a consultation. Dr. Cho is knowledgeable about dental implants and diabetes and has treated many patients who are diabetic. He will answer your questions and give you the information you need to make informed decisions about dental implants.