How Smoking Can Risk Implant Failure
Posted on 8/16/2017 by Dr. Franco
|At Bite Lock, we provide dental implants as a solution for tooth loss. Dental implants are one of the most popular options available. While they require a surgical procedure to place small titanium rods into your jawbone, they come with numerous benefits. They provide a permanent solution to tooth loss, with your replacement teeth being affixed in place with screws. They are more comfortable than traditional dentures, your teeth being supported by the implants rather than your gums. Moreover, the implants mimic your tooth roots, helping to preserve the integrity of your jawbone. Implants are 98% effective. Smoking can greatly increase your risk of implant failure.
Cigarettes contain hundreds of chemicals. Inhaling these chemicals limits the amount of oxygen available in your blood. Smoking also restricts your blood flow. The carbon monoxide you breathe in causes fat to build up on the walls of your arteries, making it more difficult for blood to flow as it should. Both of these factors make your recovery slower. Your jawbone and your gums are deprived of valuable nutrients required for proper healing. Slower healing increases your risk for infection and implant failure.
Interference with Medication
After your implant surgery, we may prescribe you some antibiotics, which will help to stave off any infection while you heal. Smoking, however, can often interfere with these medications, reducing their effectiveness.
Increased Risk for Gum Disease
Gum disease is a serious oral health issue, and it can still affect you even if all of your teeth have been replaced by implants. Your immune system is essential for fighting off the harmful oral bacteria that cause gum disease. When you smoke, your body’s ability to fight infection is impacted. Those who smoke also don’t often practice proper oral hygiene, which means there is an excess buildup of plaque and bacteria, both contributing factors to gum disease.
Smoking can also lead to dry socket. Dry socket is a condition in which the clots at your surgical sites become dislodged. The suction created from inhaling can cause them to loosen. The open space is then susceptible to food, bacteria and other debris, all of which can lead to significant pain, infection, and implant failure.
Implants rely on a process known as osseointegration. This is the process in which your jawbone fuses to the implants, creating a strong, stable support for your new teeth. Smoking can weaken your jawbone, making it harder for the bone to fuse. This is because smoking inflames not only your soft tissues but your bones as well, a condition known as peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is the leading cause of implant failure.
What Can You Do?
Quitting smoking can greatly increase your chances of implant success. It is recommended that you quit for a period before your surgery, as well as during recovery if you do not quit for good. Proper oral hygiene practices can also help to keep your mouth healthy and reduce your risk of failure. This includes regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits.
If you are interested in dental implants, call Bite Lock today at (469) 995-7808 to schedule your consultation.
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