Over 500,000 people annually are choosing dental implants over traditional tooth replacement options. As the only treatment to replicate the entire tooth structure, they offer unmatched benefits, including over a 95% success rate. When used on the ideal candidate and placed by a qualified professional, they are proven to last for decades. Generally, if you have good oral and overall health, you can advantage from the procedure; however, there’s one lifestyle habit that might throw a kink in your plans. Smoking and dental implants can be a bad combination. If you haven’t kicked the habit yet, here’s what you need to know about the road ahead.
Smoking and Dental Implant Failure
It isn’t any secret smoking is bad for your health and smile. Although you might believe oral cancer is the biggest threat, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, people who smoke at least 1 pack of cigarettes daily can lose 4-5 teeth within 17 years. Even smoking half a pack daily can lead to 1-2 missing teeth within a decade.
Smoking doesn’t just damage your natural teeth, restorations, or oral tissues. It can also compromise the success of dental implants in Scripps Ranch. Typically, the risk of dental implant failure is less than 5%. It’s most often caused by poor integration with the jawbone or infection. Unfortunately, if you smoke or use tobacco, you’re at risk of both.
Smoking is known to decrease the body’s ability to heal and fight infections. A study conducted by the University of Murcia found 15.8% of dental implants failed in smokers after just 5 years, whereas the failure rate for a nonsmoker was only 1.4%. The cause of complications was due to failed integration with the surrounding tissues. Smoking slowed down bone healing because it affects circulation to the tissues and bone. In addition, researchers found smokers are significantly more likely to develop an infection after implant surgery.
Can I Still Get Dental Implants If I Smoke?
It’s best to stop smoking for a healthy mouth and body, but if you haven’t beaten the addiction yet, you may still be a candidate for dental implants. Your dentist will perform a thorough examination to ensure you don’t need any preparatory procedures, like periodontal therapy or bone grafting. They’ll also recommend you stop smoking at least 1 week before your procedure and not light up again for at least 90 days.
Whether you continue to smoke or not, you’ll always need to be proactive about your oral hygiene to keep infection at bay. Besides brushing and flossing at home, don’t forget to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup to safeguard your investment.
About Dr. Cody Cohen
Dr. Cohen earned his dental degree at the University of Texas. He strives to provide a conservative and ethical approach to dentistry to deliver superior services, like dental implants. If you’re ready to replace your missing teeth, contact our office today to schedule your consultation.