In the United States, 120 million people are missing at least one tooth.¹ One treatment option that has grown in popularity is dental implants, which help your mouth look its best and allow you to regain the full force of your bite. If you smoke, however, you may be unsure whether getting dental implants is a good choice or even a possibility. Learn more about dental implants for smokers and what you need to keep in mind.
What Are Dental Implants? Understanding Why They’re a Top Choice
Dental implants function like your tooth’s root. They are made of titanium and fit right into your jawbone, where they hold a crown or false tooth. When you have dental implants, it’s easier to chew hard foods. Other tooth-replacement options cannot offer the same benefit.
Something else that dental implants offer is the chance to avoid jawbone deterioration. Your jawbone relies on the roots of your teeth to stimulate it to keep forming bone cells. When a tooth falls out, the root is no longer there, leading to a loss of bone. Because dental implants work like the roots of your teeth, they help keep your jawbone healthy.
Dental Implants for Smokers: Is It a Possibility?
Smoking can cause numerous dental issues, including:
- Gum disease
- Dry mouth
- Plaque formation
This means that smoking itself can lead to tooth loss. But what about dental implants and smoking?
You want to remember that obtaining dental implants requires getting incisions, which means it is a surgical procedure. Smoking can interfere with any surgery, making it more likely for complications to develop. That is true for dental implant procedures as well.
Your gums need to heal around the implant before the permanent crown can be applied, and smoking can hinder the healing process. Smoking also has the potential to increase inflammation, restricting blood flow to the area. However, it’s important to note that none of these possible complications mean you can’t get dental implants if you smoke.
The dental implant procedure for smokers begins by treating any existing gum disease. We’ll evaluate your mouth, teeth, gums, and jawbone to see whether it’s possible to offer an implant. We always advise smoking cessation for successful dental implant outcomes, but we do evaluate each case individually.
After receiving the implant, you should stop smoking for at least two weeks. That is the most critical period because it’s when the jawbone begins to fuse around the titanium posts. Smoking at this stage can increase the risk of infection and can make it even more difficult for your jawbone to grow healthily around the post.
Smoking and dental implant complications are common. That is why we recommend you try to quit before considering this option.
Getting Full Use of Your Mouth Again
Losing a tooth can be stressful, leaving you with less bite force and increasing your chances of dealing with jawbone loss. Dental implants can be one of the most effective solutions — but you need to have a healthy foundation on which to place those implants. If you smoke, achieving the oral health you need to have a successful dental implant procedure is more difficult.
At Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester, we offer the periodontal services you need. From dental implants to gum surgery, we can provide assistance to improve your bite and maximize your oral health. We also will be happy to offer options to help you quit smoking. Call us today to learn more about our services. 585-685-2005