August 24, 2021
Most people are considered to be candidates for dental implants, but there are a few groups who are noted to be at high risk for complications. In particular, smokers are found to be more likely to experience dental implant failure due to oral health issues. Does that mean that you have to choose another form of tooth replacement if you smoke? Not necessarily, but there are some steps you’ll have to take before and after implant surgery if you want your new smile to last. To that end, it’s necessary to fully understand the link between smoking and dental implants.
How Smoking Can Interfere with Dental Implants
Smoking already has a negative impact on your oral health in general. It affects the saliva glands and dries out the mouth, which makes it easier for bacteria to grow and cause gum disease. Also, it restricts the flow of blood in the gums, which reduces their ability to heal after being injured or undergoing surgery.
The oral health issues caused by smoking can become serious obstacles to dental implant placement. Implants rely on a natural process called osseointegration that allows them to fuse with the jawbone, securing them in place so that a restoration can be attached later. But if the mouth can’t heal correctly, osseointegration may be affected, and the implants could fail as a result. Furthermore, if gum disease occurs, then the tissues anchoring the implants in place could weaken and break down. This can cause the posts to come loose, and they’ll have to be taken out of the mouth altogether.
Is It Still Viable to Get Dental Implants if You Smoke?
It is actually possible for smokers to get dental implant surgery once any existing issues have been successfully treated. However, in order to ensure a successful procedure, it is best for you to give up smoking before and after the surgery. Even after implants have successfully joined with the jaw, continuing to smoke only increases the risk of failure happening at some point. Notably, smoking is known to increase the rate of bone loss around dental implants by a small amount. It doesn’t mean much in the short term, but as the years go by, the accelerated loss makes a much bigger difference. Thus, if you are seriously considering dental implants as a solution for tooth loss, you should start looking up resources that can help you break the habit for good.
Even if you’ve been smoking for a while, you don’t necessarily have to give up on restoring your smile with dental implants in Midland. If you talk to your dentist, they can outline the steps you’ll need to follow in order to minimize the risks before your implant surgery.
About the Author
Dr. John K. Drisdale treats all of his patients like members of his family. He is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry Master Track program, and he aims to eventually join the less than 2% of dentists in the United States who have attained a Mastership. During an implant consultation, he can walk you through the steps you’ll need to take and discuss how you can overcome smoking and other potential risk factors. To schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (432) 684-7424.
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