One danger of having dental implants is developing an infection which goes on to affect the gums. Infection around the base of the crown which is supported by the implant is often caused due to food being caught around where they join. It usually depends on the shape and location of the teeth. When infection occurs, implants often need to be replaced. Replacement is expensive, painful, and inconvenient. People diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and who have poorly controlled blood sugar levels are at risk for oral infections, but surprisingly enough, not those that complicate dental implants.
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio found implants could remain in place for at least two years infection-free in Type 2 diabetics with high and poorly controlled blood sugar levels.
Their study, published in December of 2016 in the journal Clinical Implant Dental Related Research, included 24 people with Type 2 diabetes patients and who had high blood sugar levels. Each participant received at least two implants…
- after one year 98.6 percent of implants were still healthy.
- two years after the implants 96.6 per cent were still infection-free.
There was no link between HbA1c levels and complications. The dentists, therefore, concluded implant therapy is a viable option for Type 2 diabetics with poorly controlled blood sugar levels.Dental implants are artificial tooth roots drilled into the jaw to hold false teeth. They are used when natural teeth are cracked beyond repair or lost due to disease of the bone or gum tissue holding the teeth in place. A titanium post is placed into the jaw, and surrounding bone is given time to grow around the implant. Titanium is a metal that does not rust or cause a reaction from the body. Sometimes a bone donation is used to help hold the post in place. Complete healing around the post can take as long as several months. Then an abutment, or extension of the post, is positioned over it. Finally, an artificial tooth, or crown, is placed onto the abutment. Barring complications dental implants can last for life. False teeth usually last 10 to 15 years. The implant must be checked periodically by x-ray to make sure it is infection-free. Controlling blood sugar levels is important for many reasons, but fortunately according to the study, implants may be placed even with poor control.
Of course, preventing the need for implants is preferable. People with Type 2 diabetes are at risk for gum disease, which can spread to the surrounding tissue holding the tooth in place. Good dental hygiene is essential to prevent any gum disease.
Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.