According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 18% of adults in the U.S. smoke cigarettes. If you are a smoker you probably know that this habit has risks, but you may not realize all the risks it has, including the negative effects it can have on dental implants. If you have a missing tooth and would like to replace it with an implant, you should stop smoking and here are three reasons why.
It Presents a Greater Chance for Infection
Getting a dental implant is a major procedure to go through, especially if you jawbone is not large enough. For an implant to permanently fuse to the jawbone, the jawbone must be sufficient. If it is not, a dentist will have to graft extra bone in place before installing the implant.
While this procedure is handled in the same ways for smokers and nonsmokers, smokers have a higher risk that an infection will form at some point during the process.
It Will Take Longer To Heal
One of the effects smoking has is that it causes weakening of the body's immune system. This system is vital not only for fighting infections, but also to help wounds heal. When you smoke, your body is not able to heal as quickly as it should. This is one of the reasons you are more likely to develop an infection, but this is also why you may experience problems with a new dental implant.
If you have smoked for many years, there is a good chance that the blood flow to your gums is already affected by your habit. Because smoking restricts the blood flow and because healing requires blood flow, your dental implant may take months to fully heal. During this time, you may feel discomfort and even pain because the wound is not yet healed.
To prevent this, you should stop smoking one year before getting implants. An entire year without smoking can help the body have time to repair itself, which is highly important if you plan on getting implants.
The Implant May Fail
An important part of success with dental implants from sites like http://www.infinitesmiles.com/ is the ability for the implant to osseointegrate to the jawbone, which means that the two pieces become one. If this cannot happen, the implant could become loose, or it could even fall out. If this process doesn't happen fast enough, it increases the chances of developing an infection too.
Part of the reason this happens is because the muscles around the implant need to completely heal. For a smoker, it takes much longer for this to happen, and this greatly increases the chances of problems with the implant.
According to the Journal of International Society of Preventative and Community Dentistry (JISPCD), studies show that smokers have a greater risk of implant failure. The average cost of a dental implant is $4,250, which is a lot of money to spend for a single tooth. If you are going to spend this much, you should do everything possible to make sure it is successful.
Not only will it help for you to stop smoking prior to getting the implant, but there are other things that may also improve the chances of success with an implant, including:
- Avoiding alcohol – Consuming alcohol can also affect blood flow and recovery time for any type of wound.
- Keeping your teeth clean – Brushing your teeth is good for so many reasons, but it mainly helps by removing harmful bacteria from your mouth.
To learn more about the risks of smoking and dental implants, talk to your dentist. This may help you finally make the decision to quit smoking, and you may also decide to get all your teeth problems fixed.