Will a Dental Implant Take Longer if You're Diabetic?

Your diabetes may affect your oral health and any treatments you have at the dentist. For example, if you want to replace a bad tooth with dental implants, then your dentist may advise you that it may take longer than usual until the implant procedure is done. Why might you need extra time before your implant is fitted?

Your Diabetes Needs to Be Under Control

Your dentist will want you to have your diabetes under control before they start work on your implant. If you can do this, the implant has a much better chance of working without giving you any problems.

For example, if your blood sugar levels aren't in the best shape, you may be more prone to developing problems with your gums. Your gums need to be in good shape for an implant to work. Uncontrolled diabetes may also affect your mouth's ability to heal, say after your original tooth is extracted. So, you may be at a higher risk of developing a post-extraction infection.

If your diabetes isn't stable at the moment, your dentist may advise that you wait until it is before you start implant treatment. Once things settle down, and there is less risk of you developing gum problems or an infection, then they'll be happier making a start.

Your Mouth May Need Extra Healing Time

Even if your diabetes is under control, you may find that parts of your mouth take longer to heal than they might if you didn't have this condition. This may affect how quickly your dentist can move through the stages of the implantation process.

For example, your diabetes may affect how quickly your bone heals and grows around the implant post that your dentist inserts into your jaw bone. The success of any implant depends on this bone creating a strong anchor for the post. This post needs to be solid and stable enough to stay in place when it needs to hold the implant tooth.

If your diabetes delays the bone healing and regrowth process, then you may need to wait longer than usual before you get to the final stage of the implant process where the tooth is fitted. Your dentist won't want to move on to this stage until they are happy that your bone has fully integrated with the post.

While your dentist may not be able to tell you exactly how much extra time your implant might take, they can give you an idea of any delays that might happen. They can also give you advice on how to manage your diabetes to boost your chances of implant success.