My mom has type 1 diabetes and is recovering from severe gum disease. The teeth that she hasn’t lost are weak and rotten. I’m afraid for her health. I’ve suggested that she gets dentures and two mini implants. She is concerned about her diabetes because she’s already had a foot infection that was hard to control. Is type 1 diabetes a reason not to get dental implants, or are there certain precautions we can take? Thanks. Ada from Montgomery, AL
Although type 1 diabetes is a risk factor, it’s not a reason to avoid dental implants. Precautions start with the dentist’s protocol to assess risk factors for each patient with careful diagnostic work. Your mom’s diabetes must be well-controlled to prevent the condition from interfering with the implant healing process.
Selecting an Implant Dentist for Patients with Diabetes
We recommend scheduling at least two appointments with a dentist who is a fellow of the Academy of Implant Dentistry or the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. Also, look for a dentist with advanced training in cosmetic dentistry to get natural-looking dentures for your mom. What can you expect from a dentist with these credentials?
- Medical and dental histories review – After thoroughly reviewing the histories, an implant dentist will be aware of all risk factors, including type 1 diabetes. The factors help determine if dental implants are an option.
- 3D CT scan – Oral anatomy is clearly defined on the scan to show how and where your dentist will place the implants.
- Digital placement – Digital navigation helps your dentist during implant surgery. Although the surgery is minor, a dentist must position the implants in the optimal location to promote healthy healing.
- Restoration – A dentist with a fellowship in implantology will perform the surgery and restore your mother’s missing teeth with dentures. If one doctor completes both procedures, it eliminates miscommunication that sometimes occurs between a dentist and an oral surgeon. And it will save your mom extra fees that she would pay to an oral surgeon.
As few as two implants can stabilize dentures. Mini implants or snap-on dentures will give your mom’s dentures some stability and help limit jawbone loss. Standard implants increase stability. And the stability will increase with the number of implants she receives. You can help her achieve a successful outcome by researching top implant dentists in the area.