With the rising demand for dental implants in diabetic patients, it becomes necessary to understand the disease and its impact on dental implants.

Given the association between dental implants and diabetes, this article discusses how safe dental implants are for diabetics.

Dental Implants and Diabetes

Dental Implants and Diabetes

Dental implants are among the best teeth replacement options, with a 10-year survival rate of 94.6%.  [1]

But, several factors affect the survival of implants; one such is diabetes mellitus.

Over 422 million people are affected by diabetes globally. These people experience delayed healing, gum infections, and tooth loss. [2]

I Am Diabetic. Can I Get Dental Implants?

Gone are the days when dental implants were restricted to systemically healthy individuals.

With advancements in dental research, dental implants are considered safe for well-controlled diabetes. [3]

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Video Courtesy: AAFMR.ORG

Research suggests that dental implant survival in diabetes is as good as healthy individuals. [4]

On the contrary, poorly controlled patients are at risk of implant failure.

Note: It is always better to maintain a recommended HbA1c level of < 7 to lower the risk of complications. [5]

The dentist will also recommend several measures to maximize success and reduce post-treatment failures.

Is Your Diabetes Under Control?

While diabetes doesn’t affect your ability to have dental implants, uncontrolled diabetes increases the risk of infection and implant failure.

Dental implants rely on the body’s natural healing to integrate with the underlying jaw bone.

The osseointegrated implant serves as a durable and long-lasting solution for tooth replacement.

With elevated blood sugar levels, the healing of bone and gums are challenging to achieve.

Hence, your dentist will ensure that you have reasonably controlled diabetes before implant placement.

In case you aren’t sure of your diabetic status, here are some of the symptoms observed with uncontrolled diabetes: [6]


  • Increased thirst
  • Dryness of mouth
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Itching around genitals
  • Increased bouts of hunger
  • Frequent infections in the body
  • Pain or burning with urination

You should consult a physician if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Measures Taken to Improve the Survival of Implants in Diabetics?

Some of the measures adopted to improve the survival of dental implants are: [7]

  • Use of implants with larger width and length
  • Use of implants with a surface coating (bioactive coated)
  • Maintenance of an optimal HbA1c level (preferably below 7) [8]
  • Intake of prescribed antibiotics (prophylactic) before the procedure
  • Use of chlorhexidine mouthwash (0.12%) for the post-treatment oral care


Uncontrolled diabetes can cause significant periodontal problems which can cause bone loss resulting in implant failure.

~Dr. Erin N Erickson, DDS

What Are the Effects of Diabetes on Dental Implants?

Elevated blood sugar levels in diabetes affect several functions of the body.

If not controlled, you may be at the risk of developing the following complications during implant therapy: [9]

1. Delayed Healing

Uncontrolled diabetics experience slow recovery at the dental implant site.

Prolonged healing, especially of soft tissues (e.g., gums), could be due to compromised blood supply to the site.

2. Lack of Osseointegration

People with diabetes are at higher risk of failure due to delayed attachment of the implant to the underlying bone.

The altered function of bone-forming cells around implants inhibits bone formation. It impacts the process of osseointegration.

3. Higher risk of infections

People with diabetes are at risk of developing infections due to the body’s decreased immune response.

It encourages the growth of several infection-causing microbes.

Watch on YouTube: “The Effects of Diabetes on Your Teeth”
Video Courtesy: Community Health TV

What Are the Benefits of Placing Dental Implants in People with Diabetes?

Diabetic patients are usually at higher risk of gum infections, which eventually cause loss of teeth.

Losing teeth hinders the aesthetics and compromises your chewing efficiency.

People with diabetes are recommended to include raw fruits, vegetables, and meat in their diet.

A healthy and balanced diet helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. However, these foods require effective chewing and grinding ability.

Healthy Food for Diabetics

Healthy Food for Diabetics

With damaged teeth or removable dentures in the mouth, you may have difficulty chewing food sufficiently.

In such scenarios, dental implants are permanent replacements for missing teeth.

These implants are anchored firmly on the jaws and gums.

Unlike dentures, they provide higher chewing efficiency and negligible discomfort and irritation of gums.

What Are Different Dental Implant Procedures for People with Diabetes?

All on 4 Implants

It aids in replacing the entire missing teeth in the upper or lower arch.

In this procedure, four implants help replace 14 teeth in each jaw.

It is most commonly recommended in diabetics as it replaces multiple teeth with minimal trauma.

All on 4 Dental Implants

Single Tooth Replacement

This procedure replaces a single missing tooth or multiple teeth present at different sites.

Single-tooth implants present a natural look and act just like your natural tooth.

They also maintain the structure of your jaw bone. [10]

Single Tooth Replacement

Implant-Supported Bridge

This procedure is helpful while replacing multiple missing sites present adjacent to each other.

In case of three adjacent missing teeth, your dentist will place implants at each end of the edentulous area.

Later a three-crown bridge is attached, supported by two implants.

Dental Bridge


The success of dental implants in people with well-controlled diabetes is comparable to healthy individuals.

Since uncontrolled diabetes increases the risk of implant failure, patients should be aware of their blood sugar levels before undergoing the procedure.

The success of dental implants in people with well-controlled diabetes is comparable to healthy individuals.

Since uncontrolled diabetes increases the risk of implant failure, patients should be aware of their blood sugar levels before undergoing the procedure.

FAQs: Dental Implants & Diabetes

Yes, dental implants are a safe and predictable procedure for restoring missing teeth in people with controlled diabetes. [11]

Dental implants’ success and survival rate in well-controlled diabetics is as good as normal healthy people. [12]

Hence, you can opt for dental implants if your blood sugar levels are well-controlled.

On the contrary, it’s better to delay the placement of implants in poorly controlled diabetics to avoid infection or dental implant failure. [13]

Most of the individuals are suitable for dental implant treatment.

However, certain conditions increase the risk of implant failure and post-treatment complications.

Some of the conditions that may increase the risk of implant failure are: [14]

  • Cancer
  • Chronic smoking
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Uncontrolled epilepsy
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Untreated gum diseases
  • Drug and alcohol abuse

Diabetes is not an absolute contraindication for implants. However, elevated sugar levels may delay the process of osseointegration. [15]

Moreover, you may be at higher risk of developing an infection, resulting in implant failure.

Diabetes alters the body’s response to infection & delays wound healing. [16]

Dental treatments like gum surgery, implant placement, or tooth removal, when done in uncontrolled diabetes, increase the risk of infection & treatment failure.

Yes, it can. The risk of dental implant failure increases in poorly controlled diabetes as it prolongs healing around implants.

Besides, diabetes increases the risk of gum infection, which further contributes to implant failure.

Is diabetes not letting you get implants?

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