Tooth loss is a common problem across the country. Millions of Americans are missing teeth. Fortunately, just because you have gaps in your smile doesn’t mean that you need to go the rest of your life without them. You have several different tooth replacement options to choose from. Dental implants have become a preferred method because of their numerous benefits, but what if you’re a smoker? How does this affect your ability to get implants? Read on to learn more about the relationship between smoking and dental implants.
The Risks of Smoking After Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant treatment relies on the ability of the titanium implant and your jawbone to fuse together in a process known as osseointegration. Once this occurs, the implant is anchored into the bone in order to provide you with a stable replacement tooth. However, if you smoke during the healing process, this can affect the osseointegration process and ultimately delay healing. This also increases your risk for infection and dental implant loss. The risk of dental implant failure or another complication is much higher in smokers during the first few weeks after implant placement.
Can You Smoke After Getting Dental Implants?
You need to wait at least a few months after your implant placement procedure before you can smoke. This will reduce your likelihood of ending up with a dental implant infection or failure. However, you should know that you will still be at higher risk for future dental issues after your implants have healed because smoking increases the rate of bone loss around implants a little bit each year. While it is still a small amount, the effect is compounded over time.
Are You Able to Get Dental Implants as a Smoker?
Just because you smoke doesn’t mean that you will be immediately disqualified from getting dental implants. However, you will need to refrain from smoking for at least one week before and several months after your procedure. During your initial consultation, your dentist will access your oral health to ensure that your jawbone and gums are healthy enough to support dental implants. Some health problems and medications can get in the way of the dental implant process.
Smoking shouldn’t keep you from getting your smile back. Talk to your dentist to find out whether or not dental implants are the right tooth replacement option for you!
About the Author
Dr. Danny Tran earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry where he graduated with high honors. Currently, he is a proud member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, and San Gabriel Valley Dental Society. To learn more about dental implants, or to schedule a consultation at his office in Corvina, visit his website or call (626) 331-0688.