Limited available evidence on dental implant treatment in diabetics

shutterstock_70163050 dental implants

Diabetes mellitus has long been considered a relative contraindication to dental implant therapy.  The aim of this review  was to assess the impact of diabetics glycaemic control on dental implant survival.

The authors conducted a search of the Medline database and the references of identified articles that assessed implant survival or failure for patients with diabetes.  They included prospective and retrospective studies  in French, German, and English language with at least 10 patients.

16 studies with follow-up periods of 4 months to 12years were finally included and they found:-

  • Implant failure rates for diabetic patients ranged from 0% to 14.3%.
  • The identification and reporting of glycemic control was insufficient or lacking in 13 of the 16 studies,11 only enrolling patients deemed as having acceptable glycemic control, limitinginterpretation of findings relative to glycemic control.
  •  Three of the 16 studies having interpretable information on glycemic control failed to demonstrate a significant relationship between glycemic control and implant failure, with failure rates ranging from 0% to 2.9%.

The authors concluded

Clinical evidence is lacking for the association of glycemic control with implant failure while support is emerging for implant therapy in diabetes patients with appropriate accommodations for delays in implant integration based on glycemic control. The role for implants to improve oral function in diabetes management and the effects of hyperglycemia on implant integration remain to be determined.

Oates TW, Huynh-Ba G, Vargas A, Alexander P, Feine J. A critical review of diabetes, glycemic control, and dental implant therapy. Clin Oral Implants Res. 2011 Nov 24. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0501.2011.02374.x. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22111901.


Our friends over at  The Diabetes Elf covered this review a couple of weeks ago and you may be interested to see their view.




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Derek Richards

Derek Richards is a specialist in dental public health, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry and Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) Development Team. A former editor of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Journal and chief blogger for the Dental Elf website until December 2023. Derek has been involved with a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994. Derek retired from the NHS in 2019 remaining as a part-time senior lecturer at Dundee Dental School until the end of 2023.

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