You’ve been thinking of getting your missing teeth replaced with dental implants in Canton. However, you smoke regularly, and your dentist said that this puts you at a higher risk of implant failure. What exactly does this mean? Let’s take a closer look at how exactly smoking affects your chances of successfully getting dental implants.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are screw-shaped posts, usually made of titanium, that are surgically placed in your jawbone to mimic the structure of your lost tooth root. Over a period of a few months, your jawbone actually grows around the implant post, essentially becoming one with it.

How Does Smoking Affect the Success of Your Dental Implants?

The process of healing after receiving your dental implant, also known as osseointegration, depends on your mouth’s ability to heal, which can be compromised if you smoke. Tobacco use hinders your oral healing processes, meaning your body is more likely to reject the implant. In fact, the implant failure rate is nearly twice as high for smokers as it is for nonsmokers.

Not only does smoking impair your jawbone’s ability to integrate with a dental implant, but it also severely damaged your gum tissue. Smokers are twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop gum disease, a bacterial infection in the gum tissue. The bacteria can attack the structures that keep your teeth, and your dental implants, anchored in your jaw, drastically increasing the risk of implant failure.

As a result, it’s best if you quit smoking before getting dental implants.

Tips for Quitting Smoking

Here are some tips from your dentist on how to kick this harmful habit once and for all:

  • Think about how much you’d rather have a beautiful, full smile.
  • Lean on your loved ones and your doctor for support.
  • Try nicotine gum or patches instead.
  • Find new ways to unwind, like listening to music or discovering a new hobby.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Toss all your lighters and ashtrays.
  • Get plenty of exercise.
  • Treat yourself with the money you would have spent on cigarettes.
  • If you relapse, don’t give up. Sometimes it takes a few tries.
  • If you’re considering getting dental implants, your dentist highly suggests quitting beforehand. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask your dentist or primary care physician for advice and resources.

About the Author

Dr. Ben Bratcher is a graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry. He has earned a Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry and a Fellowship in the Academy of Dentistry International. His other professional memberships include the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. His practice, Legacy Dental Group in Canton, TX, partners with the best oral surgeons to place your dental implants. To learn more, you can contact Dr. Bratcher at (903) 567-4881.