How Smoking Can Risk Implant Failure
Dental implants are a treatment for tooth loss. They are a modern solution, providing you with a unique alternative to traditional bridges and dentures. Implants are small titanium posts that are surgically placed into your jawbone and are used to provide support for your replacement teeth. As you heal from surgery, your bone fuses to the posts, stabilizing them in your jaw. This is a completely natural process called osseointegration. The process turns the posts into artificial roots that hold your new teeth securely in place. Dental implants have an incredibly high rate of success. However, if you are a smoker, the habit can lead to implant failure. ImplantWide is here to help.
What is Implant Failure?
During your recovery period, your jawbone fuses to the implant posts. This process, called osseointegration, essentially turns the posts into replacement roots which are meant to hold your new teeth in place, providing them with support and stability. If your jawbone does not fuse properly to the posts, this can significantly impact the stability of your implants which results in loose posts and teeth. This is known as implant failure. Implant failure can occur at any time. It may occur during the healing process, or it can even occur years after your bone has successfully fused to the posts.
How Smoking Affects Recovery Time
Smoking greatly affects recovery time. When you smoke, the amount of oxygen in your blood is reduced. Smoking also slows your blood flow. As a result, the delivery of essential nutrients to your jaw is slowed. Because of this, your healing is slowed, which increases your risk of developing an infection. Smoking also interferes with your immune system, which prevents it from properly fighting any infections that may develop.
Smoking and Dry Socket
In the early stages of recovery, clots form at the surgical sites. These clots are meant to stop bleeding and seal wounds, preventing bacteria from getting inside. The act of smoking can cause clots to become dislodged. If this occurs, bacteria can get into your body. The bacteria can then cause infections and other complications.
Interference with Antibiotics
Following implant placement, you may be prescribed antibiotics. These antibiotics are provided to help fight the development of infections. If you smoke, the chemicals in cigarettes can interfere with your antibiotics. This can render the antibiotics ineffective.
An Increased Risk for Gum Disease
Smoking significantly increases your risk for gum disease. When you smoke, plaque is stickier, which allows it to accumulate even more bacteria. All teeth, including your replacement teeth, are susceptible to plaque buildup. Left to accumulate, plaque and bacteria irritate the gums, leading to inflammation. If left to advance, the bacteria can eventually get under the gum line and begin attacking your jawbone. As this happens, the bone weakens, which then impacts the stability of your dental implants.
How to Reduce Your Risk for Implant Failure
There are ways that you can reduce your risk for implant failure. If you smoke, one of the best things you can do to reduce this risk is to quit. In addition to quitting smoking, it is also important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Successful implants provide you with a long-term, even permanent, solution to tooth loss.
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to increase the success of your dental implant treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, contact ImplantWide today at (630) 394-9787.