Another Reason to Quit Smoking: Dental Implant Failure

four sticks of cigarette

Dental implants are one of the most common solutions to replace missing teeth. While this is an effective solution, the artificial teeth will need great care. For instance, people who have dental implants must quit smoking. Research suggests that smoking could lead to dental implant failure.

Dental Implant Issues

Dentists in Northern Ireland say that smoking hinders the success of dental implants. Tobacco use minimises the ability of the implant to properly attach to the jawbone. After an implant is placed, it takes months to bond with the jawbone, while the surrounding gum tissue, bone, and muscle heal. Smoking may have negative effects on the hard and soft tissues, making them swell and unable to regenerate naturally. Dental practitioners call this problem peri-implantitis, the primary cause for implant failure.

Like any surgery, the installation of dental implants comes with a risk of infection. Smoking increases that risk significantly; smokers who have dental implants are prone to developing complications after surgery. As nicotine negatively affects the blood flow to the bone and tissues around the gums and teeth, the healing process becomes slower. On top of this, medication renders ineffective to people who smoke. If an open wound comes in direct contact with smoke, the dental implant is likely to be damaged.

For some cases, a smoker may not suffer implant failure. They will, however, experience a slow, tedious recovery process if they do not refrain from the habit. Experts say that this slow recovery is due to the effects of smoking to the body: restricting blood flow, respiration, and metabolic activity and minimising the natural healing ability.

Solution to Dental Implant Problems

Most dentists strongly recommend smokers to refrain from tobacco use when they are planning to get dental implants. Many smokers have a hard time quitting. This is why dental practitioners discourage dental implants unless the patient is committed to quitting.

If you are thinking about getting a dental implant procedure, there is no other way but to quit smoking. Get help from family and friends in your commitment to stop the habit. Support groups may also help.