You are probably aware of how smoking cigarettes can harm your health. However, smoking has consequences that go beyond your lungs. When it comes to your mouth, bad breath isn’t nicotine’s only threat. In fact, if you need to replace missing teeth, your smoking habit can sabotage your chances of receiving dental implants.
Dental implants are the leading solution in tooth replacement. They help patients avoid the bone loss, malnutrition and psychological consequences from missing teeth. They involve a straightforward oral surgery and a dedicated healing process as the implant fuses to the underlying jaw bone. The results are remarkably like real teeth in function, feel and appearance. Unfortunately, smoking can greatly complicate both the process and success of dental implants.
How Smoking Affects the Mouth and Body
Smoking wreaks havoc on your oral health. It can discolor your teeth, damage your salivary glands and put you at a much greater risk for oral cancer. Nicotine also reduces proper blood flow to the soft tissues of your mouth, this dramatically slows down the healing process and compromises your immune system. Furthermore, smoking fosters the growth of harmful oral bacteria.
Unfortunately, these consequences make getting dental implants quite risky. Your body’s healing process is at the cornerstone of a successful dental implant. The titanium screw that is secured into your jawbone must heal properly in order to sustain a comfortable and long-lasting dental implant restoration. A dental implant that does not heal properly has a greater chance of failure down the road. Studies show that smokers suffer an implant failure rate that’s twice as high as non-smokers!
Kick Your Habit and Restore Your Smile
If you are a smoker and need dental implants, it is not necessarily off the table. Dental implants are still your best option, and they continue to carry an overall long-term survival rate at over 90 percent! However, an implants dentist will strongly advise patients who do smoke to kick their habit to better their odds for a successful dental implant and protect their investment. At the very least, stop smoking for one week prior and two weeks after implant placement.
To learn more about your candidacy for dental implants as a smoker, please consult with our experienced dentist at Dental Care Acworth. We will carefully evaluate your dental health and recommend a strategic plan to help you receive the dental implants you need and deserve.