The newsLINK Group - Dental Implants for Diabetics

Editorial Library Category: General Business | Dental | Endodontics Topics: Dental, Implants, Diabetics Title: Dental Implants for Diabetics Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Dental implants are a much better solution than dentures or a bridge. Is a dental implant out of the question for diabetic patients? Complications from diabetes involve the entire body, of course, but the mouth is certainly not exempt. Editorial: Dental Implants for Diabetics 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Diabetes is an unhappy reality for far too many people in the U.S. The numbers from the American Diabetes Association, based on findings released January 2011, mark it as a major health problem: At the beginning of 2010, an estimated 18.8 million people had a diabetes diagnosis. That number was 15.7 million people in 1999. Another 7.0 million were undiagnosed. 79 million people had been diagnosed with prediabetes. 1.9 million new diabetes cases are diagnosed every year. The largest group of diabetics was in those who were 65 and older. Although diabetes rates are increasing in young people as obesity rates also increase, 10.9 million older people — that is, 26.9 percent of the population in 2010 — are dealing with diabetes as a problem. In other words, you undoubtedly have patients with diabetes in your dental practice. Some of them probably need, or could need, a dental implant someday. And the numbers are likely to increase as the baby boom generation ages. Evaluating Diabetic Patients for Implants Dental implants are a much better solution than dentures or a bridge. Is a dental implant out of the question for diabetic patients? Complications from diabetes involve the entire body, of course, but the mouth is certainly not exempt. Uncontrolled diabetic patients have higher levels of salivary glucose, parotid gland swelling, and cavities. They are more likely to develop periodontitis, are more prone to infection, heal more slowly, and are more likely to experience tissue complications during the healing process. Dentists have traditionally been cautious when it came to diabetes and dental implants. In 1988, the National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Statement on Dental Implants made it clear that a dentist should be wary of any situation where disease made healing less likely, as diabetes certainly can. This cautious approach was obviously based on concern for the long-term well-being of patients and a wish to avoid doing harm — admirable goals at any time. Fortunately, the evidence suggests you still may be able to recommend a dental implant as the preferred solution for diabetic patients who need one. Consider just one example, published 11 years later, that has exactly the opposite opinion. In a study by Thomas J. Balshi (DDS, PhD, FACP) and Glenn J. Wolfinger (DMD, FACP), published toward the end of 1999, 34 patients with diabetes were given implants and followed through final restoration. The facts were as follows: Half the patients were male, and half were female. The average age of the patients was 62.1; the standard deviation was 11.4. Two of the men studied were smokers, but none of the women smoked. Out of 227 implants, 214 successfully osseointegrated; this means the success rate was about 94.3 percent. The clinical survival rate was 99.9 percent. For each implant, the average healing time was 5.9 months. One failure occurred out of 177 implants that were followed through final restoration, and that failure occurred because of occlusal overload. The overload was, in turn, caused by bruxism. It is certainly true that more work needs to be done to help dentists make more informed decisions. According to an article entitled “Systemic Conditions and Treatments as Risks for Implant Therapy,” published in The International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants as recently as 2008, the three authors (Michael Bornstein, Norbert Cionca, and Andrea Mombelli) suggest that more studies are needed to compare patients, both with and without diseases that might create an increased risk for implant failure. But at present, they state, there is no unequivocal support for the idea that

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