Often considered the gold standard for replacing missing teeth, dental implants have completely revolutionized modern dentistry; in fact, it’s estimated that roughly half a million implants are placed each year! If you’re dealing with gaps in your smile that you’d like addressed, you might be wondering if implants are a viable option for you. But if you’re a smoker, could the habit potentially influence your candidacy? Continue reading below to learn more about how smoking can actually prevent the lasting success of dental implants, along with some tips from your dentist for preventing implant failure.
How Smoking Can Jeopardize Your Dental Implants
It’s pretty well known that smoking isn’t great for you; cigarettes and tobacco products don’t just impact your overall health, but they can also be detrimental to your oral health. The habit has been linked to all sorts of serious conditions including tooth loss, gum disease, and even oral cancer.
But the main problem with smoking that directly impacts dental implants is that your mouth’s ability to properly heal and protect itself is greatly inhibited. This means that if you receive dental implants and continue smoking, your implant sites won’t be able to heal as intended. Not to mention, smoking also leaves your implant sites much more vulnerable to infection.
However, once your implant sites have healed, it’s still not advisable to smoke. One study comparing implants in the mouths of smokers and non-smokers showed that smoking slightly increases the annual rate of bone loss around implants, which can compound over time. Patients who smoke after healing from their procedures are roughly twice as likely to experience implant failure compared to non-smokers.
Tips for Preventing Dental Implant Failure
One of the best things you can do to prevent dental implant failure is to simply never smoke, or quit if you already do. You should also consider the following tips:
- Limit your sugar intake and opt for a nutritious diet.
- Drink plenty of water; it’s the best beverage for your oral health.
- Quit other unhealthy oral habits like nail-biting, chewing on ice, or using your teeth as tools.
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily.
- Visit your dentist for regular preventive care; they can also inspect your implants and ensure their integrity.
Don’t let your smoking habit come between you and a healthy smile; opting to replace your missing teeth with dental implants will vastly improve your quality of life more than a cigarette ever will!
About the Author
Dr. Steve Cha received his DDS from the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry and has proudly served patients and families in the McKinney, TX area for several years. He is currently a member of several notable organizations including the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. His practice is thrilled to offer a wide range of services including dental implants. If you have any questions about dental implants or would like to schedule a consultation, you can contact Dr. Cha’s practice online or over the phone for additional assistance: (972) 529-1800.