One of the top risk factors that lead to tooth loss is smoking; however, it's important to understand that smokers have a harder time getting dental implants to replace their missing teeth. If you smoke, you should be aware of these facts; and if you already have missing teeth, you may want to visit a dentist to find out if you can get dental implants to replace them. If you do this, you are likely to find out the following three things.
Your Dentist May Ask You To Quit Smoking
The first thing to understand is that your dentist will most likely encourage you to stop smoking. Not only is this something dentists encourage for patients who need dental implants, but it is also something dentists encourage simply because of the health risks smoking poses. When you visit a dentist, you should be prepared to hear this advice, and there are a number of reasons dentists give this advice for smokers who need dental implants.
You'll Have a Higher Risk Of Dental Implant Failure
The main thing you should know is that smokers have a higher risk of dental implant failure than nonsmokers, and this has been proved through a number of different studies on this topic. Here are the top three reasons this occurs:
- Smokers have a greater chance of developing an infection – Smoking is a dirty habit, especially for the mouth. People who smoke have a higher chance of having cavities and other oral issues, and an infection prevents an implant from healing properly.
- Smokers heal slower – People who smoke also heal slower than people who do not smoke. This is just a natural effect of smoking, and slow healing is not good for implants. An implant has a higher risk of failing the longer it takes for it to heal and fuse.
- Smokers are more likely to have gum disease – Gum disease is an oral problem that causes the gums to recede. As this happens, it can lead to bone loss. Because of this, it is harder for an implant to last in a smoker's mouth.
You May Still Be Able To Get One
Even though smokers have a higher risk of failure and problems with implants, your dentist might still agree to put one in your mouth. The dentist will need to thoroughly examine your teeth, gums, and jawbone before agreeing to it, though.
If you are a smoker, you may want to consider stopping now. If you don't, you may lose teeth and develop other oral problems. You can visit a dentist like Dr. Jerry F. Maymi & Associates to learn more about dental implants or other dental needs you may have.