We want our patients to be informed about all aspects of dental implants, and sometimes a patient who is a smoker – or who has smoked in the past – is interested in dental implants. Implants are a form of oral surgery that can greatly benefit both the appearance and health of the patient’s mouth. However, because this is a surgery, the overall health of the patient and the area needs to be assessed.
How Does Smoking Impact Oral Health
The most well-known impact of smoking is gum disease. This may be why the smoker needs implants to begin with, because with severe gum disease, the teeth will begin to fall out. Bacteria develops on the teeth and gums, turning to gingivitis and eventually infection. This is called periodontitis, and at this phase, the tissues and bones that hold the teeth may loosen and break down. At this point, the gums may become swollen and tender, or even begin to receed. Patients may also notice loosening of the teeth, or increased sensitivity.
Smoking also burns the oral tissues, creating keratosis (where the top layer of skin cells becomes thicker). It can damage and block salivary glands, creating an overall feeling of dryness in the mouth.
Will This Impact My Dental Implant Procedure
Dr. Hervas and the staff at Implantation Dental Center will first see you for an overall health assessment to determine your candidacy for dental implants. Your willingness to adjust your smoking habits needs to be discussed with the doctor. A patient who smoked years ago may be a different case than a person who still smokes a pack a day, and each patient is treated as an individual. After your periodontal health is determined, your recovery is the next important goal.
People who smoke are at greater risk for infection, since nicotine and the additional chemicals in cigarettes constrict the blood vessels in the mouth. Healing after a dental implant procedure is critical to the success of the procedure. The implant failure rate for smokers is 15.8%, compared to a mere 1.4% in non-smokers (Source: The American Dental Association), and our staff wants to make sure your implants are a success.
- Failure of implants early on is associated with smoking around the time of implant placement – meaning immediately before and during the healing process of your implant procedure.
- Later dental implant failure, after healing, is associated with a long-term history of being a smoker.
- There is a high statistical correlation between the amount of cigarettes a patient smokes, and the likelihood that their implants will fail.
Our Team is Dedicated To Your Success
Ask us for help, our staff is determined to get you on a great path towards dental implant health. In some cases, this may mean a periodontal procedure and smoking cessation plan before dental implants can be considered. Your long-term health is important to our team, and we care about your smile. Contact us today to get started!