New Discoveries: Implant Safety for Patients with Uncontrolled Diabetes

Dental ImplantDental implants are often considered the best solutions to replace missing teeth, but dentists have approached the procedure with caution. Patients undergo several screenings and assessments to determine eligibility for the surgery – a procedure critical by itself.

The case is all the ‘more risky’ for diabetic patients. Diabetes increases the risk of developing post-surgical illnesses and infections. Patients take longer to recover and bone tissues take up twice as much time to fully heal around the implants. Although infections are not fatal and do respond well to treatment, they can lead to implant failure.

Loughton dentists describe implants as ‘clinically proven’ and ‘safe’, while studies say it has a 98% success rate.

Recent findings suggest people with uncontrolled diabetes may respond just as well to implantation – even better.

‘No Higher Risk of Failure’

Dentists can place implant safely on patients with uncontrolled diabetes, according to an American research. Dr Thomas Oates, head author of the study, said they could not identify any link between high blood sugar, and implant failure and complication. Dentists can now tell their patients there is ‘not a higher risk’ of failure.

The study categorised the patients according to their glycated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels: 50 had no diabetes, 47 had well-controlled diabetes and 20 had uncontrolled diabetes. The group with HbA1c levels of 5.9% or lower were not diabetic. The group with 6% and 8% had well-controlled diabetes. The third group, which showed HbA1c levels of 8.1% or higher, had poorly controlled diabetes.

100% Survival Rate in Uncontrolled Diabetes

All 117 patients underwent implant placement and were under assessment after 4 months following the healing period, and then again after three, six and 12 months. A year later, they found dental implants on patients with poorly-controlled diabetes had a 100% survival rate, compared to 99% on those without diabetes and 98.9% on those with well-controlled diabetes.

Although healing took longer in the uncontrolled diabetes group, it’s no reason to deny implants to those who can benefit from them. Dr Oates said, ‘Once you get past that initial delay in healing, there doesn’t seem to be any problem at all.’

If dental implants can help patients in eating a healthier diet, then surely they can help improve their diabetes.