Dental implants are a great solution to tooth loss, giving you back full use of your mouth and preventing bone loss. But if you are a smoker, you may not be able to get implants.
What are Dental Implants?Dental implants are titanium rods that are surgically implanted into your jawbone. These rods fuse to the bone and act as tooth roots to which false teeth are attached. Implants can be used for single missing teeth or to replace an entire bridge. They restore your ability to eat all of your favorite foods, speak normally and maintain the integrity of your jawbone.
Recovery from dental implant surgery can take upwards of 12 weeks, and smoking can significantly slow that process even more. Smoking interferes with the body's natural ability to regenerate new tissue and affects blood flow, which means important nutrients don't always reach the surgical site. It also affects the amount of oxygen in your blood, which is also crucial to recovery.
Greater Risk of Infection]
Surgery already carries a risk of infection, but smoking greatly increases that risk. Smoking decreases the effectiveness of antibiotics. It can also dislodge clots, exposing bone. Tobacco, nicotine and other harmful chemicals can then enter the space and wreak havoc.
Implant FailureImplant success depends on the implant's ability to fuse to your jawbone. Smoking can harm the bone and the healing tissues, leading to inflammation and infection. These factors can greatly affect the ability of implants to properly fuse, which often means implant failure.
Dental implants are a great option if you have suffered tooth loss, but smoking can stand in your way of receiving the procedure. In order to be a candidate and ensure success, you must first be willing to quit smoking, which has the added benefit of improving your overall health as well.
Please contact our office if you have a questions about dental implants.