Smoking is known for its ability to jeopardize your health in multiple ways. While you may be aware of its effects on the lungs, how much do you know about smoking and your oral health? For smokers who want to get dental implants, it is important to know the facts. Studies have shown that smokers are twice as likely to suffer implant failure compared to non-smokers. Considering the significant investment of implants dentistry, you’ll want to do everything you can to help your new teeth succeed.
Smoking leads to several consequences within your mouth. Beyond stained teeth and oral cancer, the hot gases can damage the salivary glands. Additionally, the nicotine found in cigarettes is a vasoconstrictor, which means it reduces blood flow to the soft tissues of your mouth. This can compromise your gum health and slow down your body’s ability to heal itself. Lastly, smoking also encourages oral bacteria growth. These are significant drawbacks that create a poor environment for dental implants.
The success of a dental implant primarily relies on the healing process because the titanium post must fuse to the jawbone as it heals and the surrounding gum tissues must be free of infection or disease. Therefore, when this process is inhibited in any way, the dental implant is at overall risk.
What If I Am Already a Smoker?
If you currently smoke or have smoked for many years, it doesn’t mean that you will never qualify for dental implants. Only a dental professional can determine your candidacy. However, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of successful implants dentistry. It is recommended that you quit smoking altogether – a new smile is a great reason to kick the habit. If you just can’t stop completely, you’ll at least need to commit to putting down the cigarettes for at least one week before your dental implant surgery and up to two months afterwards. Also, stay diligent on your oral hygiene habits and see your dentist for a professional cleaning.
For more information on how smoking affects your chances of successful dental implants, please call Gilreath Family Dentistry today. We do our best to help all patients take advantage of the unrivaled benefits of dental implants.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,