General dentists take pride in helping patients achieve and maintain good oral health, but they do not treat patients alone. Instead, they have a dedicated team there with them to ensure that patients receive the safest and most effective care possible. Learning more about the supportive staff available to general dentists can be helpful in…
Can Smokers Get a Dental Implant?
Although a person who smokes can get a dental implant, not all smokers are good candidates for implants. Smoking can increase the likelihood of implant failure. The chances that an implant will succeed, however, can be improved through appropriate dental care and oral hygiene.
Oral health and the success of dental implants
For a dental implant to be successful, it is important for candidates to have healthy gums and enough bone density in their jaw so that the gum tissues can adhere to the implant and the bone fuse with the implant. It is also preferred that the implant be placed after the jawbone is fully developed, which happens after adolescence. Good oral hygiene should be maintained before and after the procedure. Some of the risk factors associated with dental implant failure include medications that cause the mouth to dry, diabetes, gum disease, smoking and immune deficiencies.
Saliva and dental health
The role of saliva in preventing gum disease and maintaining healthy teeth cannot be overstated. Saliva works as a buffer between bacteria and the tooth enamel, while the antimicrobial components of the saliva, such as the enzyme lysozyme, kill the bacteria that cause gum disease. Saliva also neutralizes acids that can damage the enamel and can repair a damaged enamel as well.
The issue with smoking
Smoking can damage the salivary glands, causing a decrease in saliva production and flow. This can make all its benefits disappear, which may trigger gum disease and cause dental implants to fail.
The nicotine in cigarettes causes the blood vessels to constrict, which in turn affects salivary gland health as well as reduces blood flow and, consequently, the supply of oxygen, nutrients and antibodies to the gums. These effects can result in periodontal or gum disease, which weakens the soft fibrous tissues that hold the implant anchored to the bone, causing the implant to fail. For smokers looking to get dental implants, it is generally recommended that smoking be stopped a week before the procedure and for two weeks after that.
Benefits of dental implants
Dental implants can have many advantages that can make them worth the effort to pause or entirely quit smoking:
- An implant may last up to 20 years or more with good oral hygiene and dental health.
- It functions like a natural tooth, allowing the patient to eat a wide variety of foods.
- It can improve speech as the implant will not slip within the mouth; thus, the patient can speak clearly without fear of the replacement tooth falling out.
Dental implants are a long-lasting and reliable teeth replacement option. Implants may have a life span of decades as long as patients take appropriate care of their oral health. That includes not smoking, as the implant failure rate for a smoker may be up to twice that of a nonsmoker. For those who smoke, the chances of a dental implant succeeding can improve with the help of a smoking cessation program. To further raise the chances that an implant will last a long time, see a dental professional regularly.
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Dr. Roderick A. Garcia is a Cosmetic and Family Dentist practicing in Albuquerque since 1983. Dr. Garcia is a member of the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and International Association of Orthodontists.Dr. Garcia provides a wide range of dental procedures including Orthodontics.Orthodontics is the movement of teeth with…
Roderick A. Garcia DMD is a Cosmetic and Family Dentist who has provided excellent dental care for his patients for over 36 years. Dr. Garcia provides a full range of dental procedures including Dental Crowns.Dental Crowns are dental restorations that cover a tooth that has been broken down past the point where a dental filling…
Dr. Roderick A. Garcia is a practicing Cosmetic and Family Dentist in Albuquerque since 1983. Dr. Garcia provides a full range of dental procedures including snap on dentures over implants. Snap on Dentures over implants, are dentures upper or lower that have been modified to securely and precisely snap onto previously placed implants. The number…