I am a type 1 diabetic. I recently lost a tooth due to an accident. I want to replace it with a dental implant but my dentist keeps hinting that because of my diabetes I may be better off with a dental bridge. Does being diabetic mean I am not a candidate for dental implants? If so, is a dental bridge my next best option?
Being a diabetic does not automatically discount you from being a dental implant candidate. It does however, make you a high risk patient. One of the issues with being diabetic is low Vitamin D levels. This in turn means you will have low bone density. As you can see from the image directly above, bone density is an essential quality in a successful outcome. It is imperative that your dental implant integrates with your bone in order to retain the implant. If you do not have enough bone structure, that cannot happen. This will lead to dental implant failure.
So, what does this mean for you getting a dental implant? The first thing you must do is make sure whatever dentist you use does thorough diagnostics to make sure you have enough bone density to begin with. If you do not, all is not lost. There is a bone grafting procedure that can build up the bone you need for a successful outcome. Additionally, you will need careful monitoring throughout the duration of the procedure.
One word of caution. I do not think your current dentist is the best one to do the work. When a dentist steers you toward a different path than the procedure you want, when you are a candidate, it often means they are not comfortable doing that procedure. Rather than say that and risk you losing confidence in their ability as a dentist they make up some reason why you should not go that direction.
This most definitely does NOT mean pressure your dentist into doing it. You never want to push a dentist out of their comfort zone. This is even more true when it comes to an advanced procedure, such as dental implants. Too many serious things can go wrong.