Bad breath and stained teeth aren’t the only ways that smoking can impact your mouth. In fact, if you plan to get dental implants, your nicotine habit cab be a deal breaker. Smoking and dental implants simply can’t coexist if you want to have successful teeth replacement. Understanding how dental implants work can help you understand why you’ve got to put down your cigarettes before and after this important restorative procedure.
What Dental Implants Need to Succeed
Dental implants are the leading solution in tooth replacement. They help patients avoid the devastating consequences of missing teeth, including bone loss in the jaw. The surgery involves a titanium post or screw that is inserted into the jawbone. In the following few months, the implant will fuse to the surrounding bone as it heals. This forms a strong foundation an implant restoration (crown, bridge, denture) to be placed on top. Implant dentistry offers a permanent solution and most life-like replica for missing teeth.
Dental implants do need some things in order to succeed. First, there must be enough existing bone structure to secure the implant in place. Second, the healing phase after implant surgery is critical. Proper healing must take place to support the osseointegration process between the implant and the jawbone. Unfortunately, smoking can greatly complicate both the healing process and success of dental implants.
How Smoking Affects Dental Implants
We know that smoking can wreaks havoc on your oral health, from tooth discoloration and bad breath to salivary gland damage and even oral cancer. However, nicotine can also be a threat to your body’s healing process and immune system – which becomes very important when getting dental implants. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that reduces or limits blood flow to your soft tissues. This deprives your oral tissues of the blood, oxygen and nutrients they need to heal after implant surgery. Furthermore, if your immune system is compromised, you are vulnerable to infection. Any type of oral infection can sabotage your implant healing and even cause them to fail. The oral bacteria that smoking invites creates a major threat to someone who has recently had oral surgery.
When to Kick Your Habit
If you are a smoker and need dental implants, it is not necessarily off the table. However, an implants dentist will strongly advise patients who do smoke to stop their habit for a set period of time before and after their implant surgery. To learn more about your candidacy for dental implants as a smoker, please call Dr. Tejal Kakade in Carrollton.