Losing a tooth can be a devastating, but what’s worse is the cascade of problems that result from it. There's a noticeable gap between your teeth that prevents you from smiling confidently, eating all your favorite foods can be difficult or even painful, and even the contours of your face are affected, making you appear older than you are.
Obviously, we need to address tooth loss as quickly as possible to eliminate these challenges and restore your oral health, and one of the most popular and effective options is dental implants.
How Dental Implants Work
There are numerous options available to solve the esthetic problem, but implants are the only solution that mimics the entire structure of a natural tooth. During a brief procedure, a titanium replacement root is placed surgically into your jaw and left to heal. The process takes several months, and during this time, the post bonds securely to surrounding gum and bone tissue, and this process is referred to as osseointegration.
Why Smoking is a Problem
Unfortunately, smoking can affect the stability of your implant because heavy tobacco use is related to periodontitis, or severe gum disease. This is the relationship Chinese researchers studied when they monitored the process of implant healing with 16 smokers and 16 non-smokers.
The results, published in the Journal of Oral Implantology, found that heavy tobacco use has a negative impact on the osseointegration process at 6 to 12 months post-surgery.
Three Things You Should Keep in Mind
There’s no doubt that smoking is bad for your oral health for many reasons, but you can take steps to minimize the damage.
- Get the most out of your daily oral hygiene routine – If you choose to smoke, you must protect your oral health by being super-vigilant with your daily brushing and flossing.
- Keep up with routine dental visits – Semi-annual exams and cleaning appointments should be a priority for everyone but especially for smokers because we can monitor your oral health and make sure that your smile is as healthy as possible.
- Check with your hygienist or dentist – You aren’t expected to be an expert, so don’t hesitate to let us know what’s on your mind. We will be happy to explain what steps you can take at home to support your goal for a healthier smile.
Please Call to Arrange A Consultation
If you smoke and are considering dental implants, please call our Glenmont, NY dental office. We will be happy to arrange a convenient consultation so we can discuss your options.