There are millions of Americans across the country who are missing teeth. Luckily, missing teeth no longer means that you need to go the rest of your life without them. There are several tooth replacement options out there to help people get their smiles back. Dental implants have become a favorite option by dentists and patients alike because of their numerous benefits, but what if you are a smoker? A dentist explains the risks of smoking and whether or not you are able to get dental implants with this habit.
The Risks of Smoking After Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant treatment relies on the ability of the titanium post and jawbone to fuse together in a process known as osseointegration. Once this happens, the implant is anchored into the bone in order to provide you with a stable replacement tooth. However, if you smoke during the healing process, this affects the osseointegration process and can delay healing. It also increases your risk for infection and possible dental implant loss. The risk of dental implant failure or another complication is higher in smokers during the first two or three weeks after implant placement.
Can You Smoke After Getting Dental Implants?
It is important that you wait at least a few months after your implant placement surgery before smoking to reduce the likelihood of a dental implant failure or infection. However, it’s crucial to note that even when your dental implants have healed, they will still be at higher risk for future issues because smoking increases the rate of bone loss around dental implants by a little bit every year. Even though it is a small amount, the effect is compounded over time.
Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants as a Smoker?
You aren’t automatically disqualified from dental implants because you smoke or use tobacco products, but you will need to refrain from smoking for at least one week before and several months after your procedure. During your initial consultation, your dentist will access your oral health to ensure that your jawbone and gums are healthy enough to support dental implants. Certain health problems and medications can also get in the way of the dental implant process.
Smoking doesn’t need to stop you from getting your smile back. By talking to your dentist, you can discuss whether or not dental implants are a good option for you!
About the Author
Dr. Mark Gray is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for over three decades! He earned his dental doctorate from the University of Texas Dental School. He is a proud Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and a member of the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, and the Greater Houston Dental Society. To learn more about dental implants or to schedule an appointment at his office in Houston, visit his website or call (281) 493-9395.