Dental implants are a significant investment that people make for their smiles. They are a permanent solution that replaces and replicate the natural teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. They include a titanium post that is surgically placed in the jawbone to act as an artificial tooth root. With this type of investment in restoring your smile, you want to do your part to ensure that your dental implant will last for years to come.
Smoking is a bad habit for everyone who does it. Smoking is known for jeopardizing a person’s health in multiple ways. Not only is smoking linked with the deadly disease of lung cancer, but it is also a significant factor in gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. For smokers who want to have dental restoration and correct their smile with dental implants, they need to understand how this bad habit can undermine their success.
Studies have shown that smokers are twice as likely to suffer implant failure compared to non-smokers. The reasons behind these statistics are straightforward:
Hot gases inhaled inside the mouth damage the salivary glands. When the salivary glands are not functioning properly, they cannot do their job of washing away plaque and other debris from the teeth.
Nicotine found in cigarettes is a vasoconstrictor. This means that it reduces the blood flow to the soft tissues in the mouth.
Smoking is an irritant to the mouth tissues. When the tissues are irritated, they become inflamed and easily infected. Because smokers introduce nicotine and hot gases to the mouth, the mouth tissues cannot heal themselves. This creates a vicious cycle that continues, ultimately leading to oral cancer.
The success of dental implant surgery relies primarily on the healing process. The titanium post inserted into the jawbone must fuse with the bone as it heals, and the surrounding gum tissues must be free of infection and disease. When the process is hindered by irritation, inflammation, and disease caused by smoking, the mouth is a poor environment for dental implant success.
Not everyone is a candidate for dental implants, and many smokers find that they are not candidates due to poor oral health. Only a dental professional can determine your candidacy. However, if you are a candidate, you will need to commit to not smoking prior to and following your dental implant surgery.
Contact Precision Digital Dentistry to learn more.