Dental implants are a great way to treat lost teeth, especially if you do not want to deal with the hassles associated with dentures. Implants are often more comfortable while also being more aesthetically appealing. However this treatment comes at a high cost that deters many, and smokers may face a double whammy when it comes to this high priced procedure.
The procedure for dental implants is not overly complicated, but it does require a bit of surgery. A screw, usually made of titanium, is inserted into the patient’s jaw bone. The screw will serve as an anchor point to support an artificial tooth. Over time the screw will fuse to the jaw bone, thus making this setup a permanent solution for lost teeth.
Surgically installing an artificial tooth does come with a few risks, of which the most common is the body rejecting the implant. The possibility of the body rejecting the fake tooth is rare, but it is known to happen in people with poor blood flow in the gums. This is why the best candidates for this procedure is those who visit their dentist regularly to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
This is where the smoking part comes into play. Smoking has a considerable effect on the ability for the body to heal itself, mainly because of the reduced blood flow that this activity causes. Without good blood flow, the body cannot fight infection, properly heal from surgery, or adjust to items like screws being inserted into the bone.
Implants are not the only dental procedure to suffer the consequences of smoking. Healing from tooth extractions and fillings are affected due to the reduced effectiveness of antibiotics. In other words, smoking is not only dangerous to your lungs, but your mouth suffers as well.
If you are a smoker, the best thing you can do is quit outright. Be sure to consult your dentist before any major procedure, and let them know your habits so proper measures may be taken. Your dentist really does not want to replace a dental implant because of smoking related complications.