My wife died. I spiraled into depression, gained 150 pounds, stopped taking care of myself, developed gum disease, then diabetes. I started losing some teeth. Then I had a heart attack. I’m only 43. That was my wake-up call. I decided it was time to get my life together. Mostly because I knew if I died early because of my slovenly ways, my wife would give me stiff right hook in heaven. Since then, I’ve lost close to 200 pounds and have even gotten rid of all signs of gum disease (except lost teeth). My dentist suggested an all-on-4 procedure for me. I was thrilled about the prospect of getting teeth again. But, my brother-in-law said that people with diabetes shouldn’t get them. I looked online and the opinions are mixed. What are your thoughts?
First, I want to say how impressed I am by the way you’ve handled getting everything back together again. I hope you realize what an incredible thing you’ve accomplished. I’m certain your wife would be proud of you.
I’ll answer your question in regard to dental implants in general. Then, I’ll specifically go into the all-on-4 procedure. Recent studies show that dental implants have a 99% success rate when done by a skilled dentist. The highest risk factors for failure being those with gum disease and those who smoke. You’ve already conquered gum disease. You didn’t mention if you smoke, but given how hard you’ve worked at getting your health back, I somehow doubt you do. Without those risk factors, you should be a great candidate for dental implants.
Incidentally, there’s a growing scientific connection between gum disease and both diabetes and heart disease. You getting a handle on your oral health will have overall benefits to the rest of your health as well.
Dental Implants and Diabetes
The biggest risk factors with diabetes only seem to be with those who have uncontrolled diabetes. My guess is yours is being managed quite well. While no procedure has a 100% guarantee, you seem to be in good shape to go forward with replacing your teeth.
I’m curious as to your dentist recommending the all-on-4 procedure. That’s usually an affordable way for people to get dental implants who’ve lost much of their jawbone structure. You didn’t mention bone loss as an issue for you.
While it can work, they’re not as stable as traditional dental implants. Plus, if one implant has a problem, the entire unit has to be replaced. I think, especially after all your hard work, you’d be better served with traditional implants.
Even if there has been some bone loss, a simple outpatient bone grafting procedure can take care of that entire issue for you.
Treat Yourself to Teeth Whitening
As you’ve worked so hard and are ready to give yourself the smile you deserve, you might consider getting your teeth whitened before you get dental implants done. No dental work, including implant crowns, can be whitened once they’re made. You’ll want the color they’re designed with to be the one you’ll be proud to display for years to come.
If the years have taken a toll on the bright, clean color of your teeth, it’s in your best interest to get them whitened ahead of time, so your dentist can craft beautiful porcelain crowns to match them.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Mavrostomos, serving all of Somerset and Far Hills County including Bedminster, Bridgewater, Basking Ridge.