Can I have dental implants if I am diabetic?


Dr Joe bhat answers a patient question:

Dear Dr Joe Bhat, ...can you do dental implants for a diabetic person and how long will it take to totally heal?

There is no contraindication for the use of dental implants in patients suffering from diabetes. Like any medical condition, it is mandatory that it is brought fully under control prior to undertaking what is in effect an elective treatment. Uncontrolled diabetes is no different from uncontrolled hypertension or any other disease. Once in control, the body will respond nearly as well as a healthy individual.
There is very small evidence to show that implant success diminishes by a very small percentage in patients who suffer from diabetes compared to healthy individuals. However, in the long run the healing process is unhampered if the diabetes is well controlled.
Dental implants tend to integrate or eight weeks to 3 months depending upon the surface technology used on the dental implant and other local and systemic factors. Therefore, if the patient is diabetic I would wish to leave the implant for three months rather than any earlier to make sure that the osseo integration (knitting of the implant to bone) is complete.
Patients who suffer from diabetes also have a higher tendency to develop periodontal disease (gum disease). Again, it is important to monitor this as existence of gum disease tends to increase the failure rate of dental implants.

Dr Joe Bhat

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