Elevated blood sugars and its impact on the survivability of Dental Implants

Photo Dec 14, 11 36 09


The cover story in the most recent edition of the Journal of American Dental Association (JADA) cited an article that added more evidence as to the detrimental effects of diabetes and elevated blood sugars toward dental surgery, more specifically dental implants.   In this prospective cohort study it was determined that poor glycemic control is a risk factor to implant therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The study sample consisted of 117 edentulous patients (patient with completely no teeth and wearing dentures), each two mandibular implants (implants in the lower jaw), for a total of 234 implants.   The authors then assessed the implant survival and stability (by means of resonance frequency analysis – aka as Osstell device as seen below which is used on out practice to test every implant at the time of placement and right before the implant is loaded 4-6 months later) relative to glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels, with baseline levels 11.1% -13.3% over a one year.


Implant survival rates were followed up for one year after loading.  The results of this study indicate that elevated HbA1c levels in patients with type 2 diabetes were not contribute dental implant failures however, there was alterations in early bone healing and implant stability, which may later lead to issues with implants.  Unfortunately since the duration of this study was only for one year, it would be beneficial to know what would happen at least 5-10 year follow-up.