August 10, 2019
Dental implants are the most predictable and reliable solution to treat tooth loss. Research proves they have over a 95% 10-year success rate when you take the time to maintain your oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly. Ensuring your new smile lasts relies on your jawbone fusing to the posts and remaining infection-free. Unfortunately, if you smoke or use tobacco, your dental implants can fail. If you want to replace your missing teeth with dental implants but you smoke, here’s what you need to know to protect your investment.
Smoking and Dental Implant Failure
A dental implant is unique to any other treatment because it replaces the entire structure of the tooth. An implant post is surgically placed into your jaw to mimic the root. This stimulates your bone to encourage new growth. Your bone fuses to the posts through a process called osseointegration. You’ll have a sturdy foundation for your restoration that can last for a lifetime.
Generally, the risk for implant failure is less than 5%; however, researchers have found the likeliness for complications significantly increases for smokers. In fact, one study found the failure rate to reach nearly 16% when compared to just 1.4% in nonsmokers.
Failure can occur immediately after the placement of the posts because tobacco hinders the body’s ability to heal and fight infections. The risk of complications can occur late term as well because it can be more difficult to keep infections at bay.
The nicotine in tobacco reduces blood flow in the mouth, which increases the risk of infection, bone loss, and tissue loss. Peri-implantitis is the leading concern. It is an infection like gum disease; however, it occurs after implant posts have been placed into the bone. It can lead to resorption of bone that can cause implant failure.
Protecting Your Investment
Your implant dentist will advise you to stop smoking, but you can still get them as long as you understand the risks. It is best to stop smoking a couple of weeks before your placement surgery and afterward while you heal. If possible, it is best to wait for 2 to 3 months after your surgery before smoking again.
You’ll need to pay closer attention to your oral hygiene, and you may need to visit your dentist more often for preventive care. If you develop any signs of complications, like redness, pain, or feeling like your implant is loose, do not wait to contact your dentist. Quick intervention can prevent complete failure to protect your investment.
Don’t let smoking harm the long-term success of your new smile. If you need help quitting, speak to your healthcare professional.
About Sunrise Dental Center
Sunrise Dental Center is committed to delivering affordable, high-quality dental care. We provide personalized solutions catering to our patients’ needs, including treating advanced issues, like tooth loss. No matter if you’re missing one tooth, multiple teeth, or an entire arch, we can rebuild your smile with dental implants. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.
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