Considering Dental Implants? What You Need to Know if You Smoke
If you have lost a tooth, there is a lot more to worry about than a gap in your smile. Addressing tooth loss is crucial for good oral health, and one very effective solution is dental implants.
How Dental Implants Work
Implants are unique because they replace the entire tooth, including the root. A small titanium post is surgically placed in your jaw and allowed to heal. Over a period of several months, the post forms a firm bond with surrounding bone and gum tissue in a process called osseointegration.
The Problem with Smoking
As a smoker, however, you face potential problems with implants because heavy tobacco use is related to severe gum disease (periodontitis), which is connected to tooth loss. It is this connection that researchers in China studied when they followed the implant healing process with 16 smokers and 16 non-smokers.
The results were published in the Journal of Oral Implantology and indicated that heavy smoking negatively affects the implant healing process at 6 to 12 months post-surgery.
Steps You Can Take
While smoking is detrimental to your oral health for many reasons, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage.
- Make proper oral hygiene a priority – As a smoker, you have to be super-vigilant with your daily routine. Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once.
- Stay current with routine dental visits – Semi-annual exams and cleaning appointments allow us to monitor your oral health to ensure that your smile is as healthy as possible.
- Talk to your dentist or hygienist – Nobody expects you to be an expert on your oral health, so don’t hesitate to ask questions. Your dental team will be happy to explain what steps you can take at home to support your goal for a healthier smile.
Please Call for A Consultation
Are you a smoker who is considering dental implants? Please call our Phoenix, AZ dental office to arrange a convenient consultation to talk about your options.