Dental Implants & Diabetes - Anyone have success?

Hi all, apparently I have a tooth resorbing (maxillary central incisor - top front tooth), and my dentist has informed me that it cannot be saved. It will need to be extracted, and this means I’m either going to need a bridge, or an implant, and the latter is what my dentist is recommending as being much stronger, longer lasting, and easier to take care of than a bridge.

My A1c is 6.5 and I’m under relatively good control though I have a profound dawn phenomenon that makes me a bit more difficult than average, and I have a long history of my teeth & gums getting inflamed very easily whenever I’m high, whenever I get a cold, etc., and on top of all of that, I got type 1 when I was 12 (now 45) and right in the middle of my growth spurt and presumably due to that, have super low bone density, at least in my hip & back - like, off the scale low, the lowest my endo has ever seen - rendering natural bone grafts unlikely. I also tend to heal pretty slowly now, not sure how much of that is diabetes and how much is just being 45. :slightly_smiling:

Sooooo, with all that background, while my dentist (a well known and regarded man - teaches, services Hollywood types, etc.) thinks an implant is highly likely to be successful for me, I’m scared to death. This is compounded when everywhere I read about them specifically warns about their use in diabetics. Anyone here have a dental implant? How did it go?

Well, I can only relate my own experience anecdotally. Here it is for what it’s worth.

I was diagnosed in 1995 and had probably been diabetic for at least a year by then.

In 2001 I had a tooth that was beyond saving and the dentist recommended an implant for the usual reasons (long lasting, low maintenance). I had it done that summer. The extraction was tricky because of the geometry of the tooth, but once it healed (about 2 months if I remember right), the implant went smoothly with no glitches. It’s been nearly 15 years now and that implant is still going strong. Not the slightest hint of trouble in all that time. One of the smartest choices I ever made.

I had a much different experience than @David_dns. I had a lower molar pulled and I decided to go ahead with an implant. I got a referral to a specialist that performed many implants. He ordered an extensive imaging survey. My blood sugar at the time was not in as tight of control as now. My A1c was around 7%.

When the implant procedure was done, it left me with a loss of feeling in my lower left lip. I still have that paralysis to this day. This implant didn’t take and after four or five days, the dentist removed it. I eventually had a traditional bridge put in place.

For me this dental implant attempt was a total failure and actually left me worse off with the lip numbness. I also understand that with top teeth, there is a risk of penetrating the sinus cavity. I understand they even have a “sinus lift” procedure available it your anatomy needs it.

This is surgery and it has a risk of infection, the bane of all people with diabetes. I’m not trying to argue that you shouldn’t have this done. You need to realize that there are some attendant risks associated with it for people diabetes, especially.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

1 Like

Good contrast between our two experiences. There are no guarantees. Surgery always entails risks and it’s always a cost/benefit/risk judgement.

Thanks to both of you. David, where was yours? I am pretty nervous, among other things, about having it done in the anterior maxilla…

Valid question. It was and is mandibular (not maxillary). But I do not believe that was the principal reason for the variation in our experience. Individual physiology, the performance of the surgeon, and postop care (in that order) are the principal variables IMHOP.

I would add “luck” to that list!

Success story here! My implant and a bone graft were done by a Periodontist Implant Specialist and it was no trouble, healed easily and quickly, and a new tooth was installed later by my regular dentist and works like a charm. No trouble at all, no pain even. My regular dentist was of the mind that diabetic should not have an implant but my Periodontist Hero said because my diabetes is well managed he saw no problems with a bone graft and implant. He was right, I can chew rocks if I want to now. Go for it!

Mine was a success as well. After the extraction, I had to wait some months for the area to heal before I got the post installed. Then I got the gold tooth. I’m not going to say it was painless, (I was given a Valium for the post, done by a Periodontist Implant Specialist) but I’m really glad I did it.

Another success story and it was also complicated by the fact that there was not a lot of room so the post ended up being unusually short. It’s been a few years and things are still working out well.

I’m really happy to see many successful stories here. My dad is considering to get dental implants from City Oasis Dental clinic in Toronto. He too is a diabetes patient and because of that we all are worried. I know the healing time will be different for each person after extraction but then I just want to know about it. I would be grateful if you could share your tips that helped for fast healing. Thanks!!