If you are a smoker and you have plans to have dental implants installed, you may want to stop smoking before moving forward with getting dental implants. Yes, dental implants offer a number of positives for people with missing or damaged teeth. However, implants and smoking do not always go hand in hand. In fact, a habit of smoking before and after a dental implant procedure can cause a number of problems. Learn why it is best to stop smoking before you have this procedure performed.
Dental implants get much of their appeal from the fact that they function and look much like natural teeth. A large part of these benefits are linked to the fact that the implant fuses with the bone, which is known as osseointegration. This process basically causes the implant and bone to become one.
When a person smokes, there are often problems with the osseointegration process, in that it does not fully complete. If this process fails, the entire implant process would need to be started again, and for some patients, it may end their implant journey altogether.
This dental procedure does come along with a recovery period, no matter the health circumstances of the individual. For the average person, this process can take somewhere around 6 months. However, when a person smokes, the nicotine they inhale slows the rate at which blood and oxygen circulate through your body.
Stable oxygen and blood flow to the tissue and bone that surrounds the implant are critical for proper healing. Again, since this delivery is slowed, so will the rate at which the area is healed be slowed. Prolonged healing can mean prolonged discomfort.
Smoking can also reduce the lifespan of dental implants. A large component of the longevity of implants is that they are inserted into the bone. For this reason, if the bone becomes damaged later on, there is also a risk for implant failure.
Smoking significantly increases an individual's risk of periodontal disease, which can target the gums and cause bone loss. As a result, the implant will fail. Following good oral health practices and eliminating smoking can do a lot to help lower an individual's risk for bone loss and implant failure.
It is always a good idea to speak with your dental care provider if you are a smoker to better understand what is at risk and to learn how to best move forward in your situation. Contact a dental office like Art of Dentistry, P.C. to learn more.