When evaluating a patient’s candidacy for dental implants, your dentist in Land O’ Lakes knows one lifestyle habit, in particular, can make a big difference — smoking. You need to be in good oral and overall health for dental implants to anchor properly in the jaw, and that just may not happen if you habitually light up.
How Tobacco Affects Dental Implants
In healthy patients who do not smoke, dental implants have a remarkably high success rate of over 95%. That is what makes them one of the most effective options in tooth replacement available today. People who do smoke, however, face a dental implant failure rate of over 15%. That’s because smokers are more likely to develop an infection after implant placement — and the body’s ability to heal is drastically reduced in patients who smoke. Regular tobacco use reduces the amount of blood flow to the mouth, which results in slower healing times after oral surgery.
Dental implants are placed surgically and require a healing period of four to six months, during which the jaw will gradually fuse together with each implant post. This is an intensive process that requires excellent patient health. Patients who have had gum disease or who have been missing teeth for a long period of time may require a bone augmentation/graft in preparation for dental implants. In addition to smokers, patients who have weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of implant failure.
The good news is that stopping smoking now can be enough to help you benefit from dental implants in a short amount of time. It is important that patients do not develop a smoking habit after getting dental implants. If you are ready to quit smoking but unsure how to begin or have tried unsuccessfully to kick the habit in the past, don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist or doctor about ways to quit.
Multiple Benefits of Dental Implants
Giving up smoking is worth it when you consider all of the benefits of dental implants — plus the advantages for your overall health, too. Some of the biggest advantages of dental implant include:
- Restored ability to eat, speak, and smile with ease
- Reduced risk of losing additional teeth
- Stabilized jawbone promotes better oral and overall health
- Closely mimic the structure of your natural teeth
- More comfortable than other options (like a bridge or traditional denture)
- Can last a lifetime with proper maintenance
Now that you know how smoking can affect dental implants and why a comprehensive replacement option is worth the hassle of quitting, what are you waiting for? We invite you to consider making a wonderful decision for your smile by kicking the habit this year!
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Jay Nelson is the implant dentist Land O’Lakes patients trust for superior dental implant care. To learn more about implants, smoking, or to discuss your eligibility for implant dentistry, we invite you to contact the office by calling 813-949-0424 today.