Dental implants offer a great way to restore your smile and help you to regain confidence, but not everyone is a good candidate for getting dental implants. Heavy smokers are typically informed that they are not good candidates for the procedure, but that doesn't mean that they can never get implants. A serious lifestyle change can improve your chances of making implants work for you. Here are three things that smokers need to know about dental implants and oral health.
Dental Implant Failure
Dental implants are prosthetics that are surgically implanted in your mouth. The health of your gums is critical to a successful outcome. People who smoke are more likely to develop gum disease, which can cause the dental implants to fail. A 2012 study puts the failure rate of dental implants in smokers as compared to nonsmokers at between 6.5 and 20 percent, depending on other contributing factors. By quitting smoking and focusing on a strict oral health routine, you can reduce your chances of developing gum disease, which will in turn prevent dental implant failure.
Dental Implant Damage
Years of smoking can leave your teeth permanently stained, and the effect that smoking can have on dental implants is no different. If you are willing to invest the time and money to have dental implants put in, it's a good idea to take great care of those new teeth. Eliminating smoking from your daily routine is a sure way to keep your smile looking great while protecting your newest investment in yourself.
Complications After Surgery
Dental implant procedures are surgical procedures. Your dentist will need to make tiny incisions to properly place your dental implants. These incisions will need to take time to heal. If you smoke during the healing process, you could risk an infection. Your dentist will recommend abstaining from smoking after any dental procedure for the same reasons. In order to keep your mouth healthy after surgery, it is critical that you avoid smoking and any other tobacco products.
If you are a current smoker, your dentist might not consider you as a candidate for dental implants. Be sure to talk to your dentist about your desire to quit smoking to improve your dental health. In many cases, your dentist can become your ally in your struggle to quit smoking. Your dentist may even decide to consider you as a dental implant candidate once you have shown the commitment to remain a nonsmoker. For more information, contact a dentist such as Thomas H. Seal DDS.