Dental Implants

Dental implants and smoking

If you are a long-term smoker and feel your teeth are letting the rest of your appearance down, perhaps you should consider investing in dental implants? Smoking not only permanently stains your teeth but it promotes gum disease, tooth loss and even oral cancer. If you, yourself are suffering from gum disease and/or tooth loss as a result of smoking then dental implants could be the right option for you. Not only will dental implants instantly boost the appearance of your smile but they provide a form of support that is guaranteed to last forever!

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are an achievable and permanent replacement for one or several missing teeth. They come in the form of small, titanium rods which are inserted through a small incision in the gum and directly into the jaw bone. The implants are already fitted with an abutment which allows the restoration to be attached firmly and securely into place.

The tooth restorations come in the form of dental bridges, crowns and dentures, which mimic the natural surrounding teeth. Dental implants are designed for their support and strength, which means they last a lifetime and look perfectly natural. Onlookers won't even notice that you have undergone any cosmetic dental work!

Are You A Smoker?

Smoking doesn't only increase your risk of contracting a form of cancer but it can add serious detrimental effects to your teeth, including:

The Dental Implant Procedure

  1. The patient is placed under a general anaesthetic, this means that any discomfort will be kept to a complete minimum.
  2. The implant is inserted through the gum, directly into the jawbone.
  3. The area is stitched up and left to heal, in a process known as osseointegration. This means that the implant is left to integrate with the jawbone, increasing tooth support in the area.
  4. Several months later, when the area has healed successfully the tooth restoration is added to the abutment.

Are There Any Risks?

With all major surgical procedures of course there are risks involved. However, smokers are likely to suffer the highest risks. This is because the bacteria found within the mouth due to smoking will affect and considerably slow down the healing process. It is advisable to quit smoking before contemplating receiving dental implants.

Taking Care of Your Implants Afterwards

It is imperative that you discuss with your dentist the amount of cigarettes you smoke per day before enquiring about receiving dental implants. If you decide to receive an implant and you are a heavy smoker then you are more likely to experience dental implant failure. The process involves a highly invasive procedure which involves gum incisions and stitching and so infection is more likely to occur if you are a heavy smoker. Please bear in mind that smoking with your new restorations, will likely cause more staining.