Dental Implant Failure and Tobacco Use
By Stephen Rogers on November 19, 2013
Adult tooth loss is a condition that compromises the health and structure of the entire mouth. Without proper support, surrounding teeth can cave in and become misaligned. Similarly, without stimulation from the tooth roots, the jaw bone may weaken and lose density. Fortunately, at our cosmetic dentistry practice, we offer our Long Island patients implant dentistry as a solution for missing teeth and a prevention of other oral health problems. Dental implants are known to be the strongest and most durable dental restoration. However, dental implants require a surgical procedure and without proper care, implant failure may occur. Smoking is one habit that is known to increase the chances of dental implant failure.
How Does Smoking Affect Dental Implants?
Dental implants have a very high success rate in patients. With proper care, dental implants can last for several decades. However, without proper healing and care, dental implant failure is a possibility. Smoking is one habit that can significantly increase the chances of dental implant failure. Smoking can interfere with dental implants and result in the following complications:
- Slower healing: Smoking is known to decrease the amount of oxygen in the blood. By decreasing the blood’s oxygen supply, smoking inhibits the body’s ability to heal. This makes it difficult for the jaw bone to heal around the dental implant, thus slowing the patient’s recovery and increasing the chances of implant failure.
- Interference with medication: Smoking is also known to interfere with the effectiveness of many medications. If the antibiotics used during recovery become ineffective, it is more likely that infection or other complications will occur.
- Infection: Patients who smoke have been shown to have an increased chance of developing infection as well as a decreased ability to fight off infection, which puts the dental implants at risk for failure.
- Peri-implantitis: Peri-implantitis is a complication that is common in smokers who undergo dental implant treatment. Patients who suffer from this condition develop deep mucosal pockets around the dental implant. This causes inflammation around the implant and makes it difficult for the gums and jaw bone to properly fuse with the implant. Peri-implantitis is likely to result in implant failure.
Because smoking is so damaging for patients who have undergone dental implants treatment, we recommend that patients refrain from smoking for a minimum of one to four weeks before surgery as well as for the duration of the healing period, which typically takes three to six months. This means that implant patients who are smokers should be prepared to go without smoking for a few months. By eliminating smoking from their lifestyle, patients can increase the chances of successful dental implants treatment, and enjoy a secure, long-term solution for tooth loss.
Schedule a Consultation
For patients who are ideal candidates and for those who are prepared to commit to proper care, dental implants offer the most secure and durable anchor for dental restorations. If you have experienced tooth loss and would like to restore the strength, function, and aesthetics of your teeth, schedule a consultation with one of our talented dentists at Greater Long Island Dental. We look forward to hearing from you!
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