Is it Okay to Get Dental Implants if I Have Diabetes?

Another way to phrase the question would be, “Does the presence of diabetes cause problems with dental implant care?”  The quick answer to the question is “no”.  (JADA 2021:152(3):189-201).  Over the years, we have looked at the presence of diseases and the effect of these diseases on dental implant care.  This can be looked at from a number of different angles.  I will address two of them here — that is the effect of the development of diabetes on existing dental implants, and the impact of the presence of diabetes on dental implants being placed.  For this discussion, we will assume the affected patient in both cases is being followed medically and that the diabetes is under control medically, either through medications or other interventions.

First, the effect of the development of diabetes.  Once an implant has integrated properly in the bone, it is almost “difficult” to cause problems.  The key is proper care and treatment at the time of placement, with allowance for adequate time for integration before loading the implant.  I have seen properly placed implants survive significant disease as well as significant medical insults, such as chemotherapy and even radiation therapy.

The second is the effect of the presence of diabetes on the placement of dental implants.  Again, with proper care and placement, you should expect a high rate of success.  One difference, in my hands, is that patients with disease states such as diabetes, are much less likely to be treated with immediate-therapy protocols such as immediate implant placement.  I will discuss and advise my patients about this, and my general advice is for patients who may have “immune-compromised states” to first get the bone “right” — that means first get a nice, well-healed bone and soft tissue site — and then place the dental implant.  This type of care reduces the variables with healing and will give the highest success rate.