Missing teeth can be a major problem for many people, but advances in dental care have allowed dentists like Dr. John Goodman to give their patients in and around Kansas City excellent smiles that are healthy and beautiful. When patients are missing many teeth, one of the best options out there is the use of dental implants, artificial tooth roots strong enough to hold dentures and bridges as if they were natural sets of teeth.
In order to achieve that level of stability and security, oral surgery is involved so that the implants can be fully embedded in the tissues of the mouth. A few months of healing is required to get the implants to properly fuse with the jawbone and gums. During this time, patients should not smoke. In fact, they should quit smoking at least a few weeks before the initial oral surgery. There are many compelling reasons why.
How Smoking Affects Your Health After Oral Surgery
When a person smokes, his or her body is negatively affected in terms of its overall ability to heal. Smoking leads to poor oxygen and blood flow, for instance, which can affect the general recovery time following a procedure. Apart from impacting the blood and your oxygen intake, smoking can also affect the medications you are given after oral surgery. If that happens, the overall effectiveness of care may be reduced.
It's also been found that smokers show a greater likelihood of developing gum disease (i.e., bacterial infection of the gum tissue), which means that there may be issues with the condition of the gums going into surgery. This can make dental implant failure much more likely.
Potential Risks and Complications to Implant Dentistry Treatment
The following are some of the potential complications that patients may face if they smoke during implant dentistry treatment:
- Peri-Implantitis: Inflammation of the gum tissue and the formation of a mucosal pocket around the implant site, both of which prevent the bone from healing properly. This leaves the implant wobbly rather than secure, eventually resulting in the failure of treatment.
- Slower Recovery: Since oxygen and blood flow are reduced and the effects of medication impaired, it can take longer for a smoker to heal.
- Infection: It should come as no surprise that if smoking makes people more prone to gum disease, they would also be more likely to experience infections during surgery.
How to Prevent the Failure of Your Dental Implants
The best way for you to ensure the success of your dental implants treatment is to quit smoking and follow all of your pre-operative and post-operative instructions to the letter.
Speak with Your General Practitioner About Quitting Smoking
If you have difficulty quitting smoking on your own, consider speaking with your physician about different programs or therapies that can help you quit. While it may seem difficult to begin with, it is possible, and you will be able to find the help and support you need.
Schedule an Implant Dentistry Consultation
If you would like to find out if dental implants are ideal for you and your needs, it's important that you contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. We look forward to meeting you in person and helping you have a smile that's healthy and beautiful.