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Dental Implants For Diabetics? Tips For Implant Success

If you have diabetes, you may have heard or read at some point that dental implants weren't an option for you. Surgeries can carry additional risks and complications for patients living with diabetes, and it was once thought that these patients had to settle for other means of tooth replacement, like dentures. However, more recent studies have shown that patients with diabetes can benefit from dental implants, just as non-diabetic patients do. If you have diabetes and you're considering dental implants as a tooth replacement option, there are things that you can do to enhance your chances of successful implant surgery. Take a look at some tips that can help.

Be Honest With Your Dentist

The first and most important thing that you can do to ensure the success of your dental implant surgery is to be honest about your condition with your dentist. Discuss whether or not your diabetes is controlled and any complications that you've experienced as the result of your diabetes. Make sure that your dentist knows about any medications that you take to help control your diabetes or deal with complications of diabetes. Your diet is also an important matter to discuss. If you primarily control your diabetes by controlling your diet, you will need to discuss what foods you can eat while your mouth is healing that will help maintain your health.

Remember, even patients with uncontrolled diabetes can successfully undergo dental implant surgery, so don't hold back out of fear that your dentist will be reluctant to give you implants. The only way that your dentist can take the proper precautions and advise you correctly is if the dentist knows the details of your medical condition.

Keep Your Blood Glucose Under Control

High blood sugar levels are linked with not only slow healing, but also the possibility of wound infections after surgery. Infections after dental implant surgery can lead to peri-implantitis (a form of periodontitis that affects tooth implants) and dental implant failure. You can help decrease your risk of wound infections after your dental implant surgery by making an extra effort to keep your blood glucose levels under control before your surgery and immediately following your surgery.

You can control your blood glucose levels by reducing your intake of carbohydrates and choosing water or unsweetened tea over sugary sodas and fruit juice drinks. Getting regular daily exercise and enough sleep to feel well-rested can also help. Most importantly, monitor your blood glucose levels especially carefully during your recovery period, while your gums are healing from the surgery, and take steps to bring your blood sugar levels down if they seem high.

Quit Smoking

Even for non-diabetics, smoking increases the risk of implant failure. Smokers who get dental implants have a failure rate of almost 16%, and that rate increases to over 30% among smokers who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day. This is because smoking inhibits blood flow in and around the surgical area, which tends to slow down healing. Because diabetics also experience circulation issues that can impair blood flow and slow healing, the combination of smoking and diabetes can have an especially negative impact on dental implant success.

Even if you only manage to quit smoking for a short amount of time before the surgery and during the recovery period, you'll improve your chances of having successful implants. And if you can quit for the surgery, you may be able to stay away from tobacco permanently, improving your health overall. If you smoke, ask your dentist or doctor for a referral to smoking cessation counseling in plenty of time to quit before your surgery. Nicotine replacement therapy tools, such as nicotine patches, may also be used to help you kick the habit, at least temporarily.

You may also need more frequent follow-up visits with your dentist than a non-diabetic patient would need. If you plan carefully and take the proper precautions, diabetes isn't a barrier to dental implants. You can have a healthy mouth and take advantage of the most advanced and efficient tooth replacement options. For more information, contact a dental clinic like Silverado Family Dental.