You are tired of living with missing teeth. You want a complete smile that offers greater functionality. When considering your options, dentures and dental bridges do not appear to offer the same benefits as permanent prosthetics, but could your inability to give up cigarettes and other tobacco products cause you to settle for a less-than-ideal solution? A local dentist explains how smoking and dental implants are possible but also, how this bad habit can negatively impact the success of your smile.
What Happens to Your Oral Health When You Smoke?
It is no secret that smoking and the use of other similar tobacco products can wreak havoc on your oral and overall health. As the culprit behind cancers, low birth rate, stroke, heart disease, and other common problems, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data in 2019 stating that more than 16 million people in the U.S. develop diseases as a result of smoking.
When it comes to a person’s oral health, the nicotine found in cigarettes, cigars, and other products can leave stains and discoloration on teeth. It also increases a person’s risk for gum disease, bone loss, and peri-implantitis if that individual has dental implants.
How Does Smoking Affect Dental Implant Success?
While dental implants in Phoenix might seem like the ideal tooth replacement solution, it is important that a person consider how their lifestyle habits can help or hinder the success of their new smile. Smoking not only puts patients at risk for gum disease but also weakens the immune system, making it harder to heal once dental implants are surgically placed into the jaw. Osseointegration must occur for proper fusing between the bone and titanium posts. If the body’s inability to heal properly keeps this step from happening, it will result in dental implant failure within the first few weeks after surgery.
Can a Person Smoke After Dental Implants Have Healed?
The best course of action a person can take when receiving dental implants is to quit altogether. Finding a cessation group or resources to help someone kick the habit will prove to be the most beneficial step when addressing tooth loss. However, if giving up nicotine cold turkey is not possible, it is strongly recommended that a person wait at least two weeks after their dental implant surgery to resume smoking. They should also stop one week before having implant posts put into place.
When it comes to your smile and the choice to receive dental implants, you will want to do everything you can to safeguard your investment. By giving up smoking, it will not only benefit your overall health, but your new teeth will have a much better chance of remaining in place for decades or longer.
About the Author
Dr. John Ludu is a dentist in Phoenix who earned his doctorate at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Undergoing various specialty education courses, he has more than two and a half decades of dentistry experience. Dr. Ludu and the dental experts at Devoted Family Dental are here to ensure you maintain optimal oral health for a lifetime. This is why if you are missing one or more teeth, he and his team can easily repair and restore your smile with dental implants. If you need help to replace a tooth, contact us at (623) 444-6222.