Getting one or more dental implants has the potential to change your day-to-day life, your oral health and the aesthetic of your smile. However, there are things that can threaten a successful outcome when you’re getting a dental implant. Today, we’re talking principally about smoking and why it can affect the healing period and result in implant failure, even once the dental implant has healed.
If you’re considering getting a dental implant and you’re based in Bristol, our experienced oral surgeons can plan and perform your treatment with careful precision and skill.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants integrate entirely within human bone. When an implant is placed, living bone in the jaw grows around the titanium surface and stabilises them securely in place. Once placed, implants can support restorations like crowns and/or bridges, which provide the functional and aesthetic part of the tooth, allowing you to chew and smile again with ease and confidence.
Dental implants in Bristol: look no further than The Bristol Dental Practice
Here at The Bristol Dental Practice, you’ll be in the hands of an experienced oral surgeon who has performed hundreds of implant placements. The success rate of dental implants is over 90%, so long as you maintain good gum health, with a view to conserving the lifetime of your implant. Unfortunately, as smoking is directly linked to gum disease, patients of dental implants who smoke are at great risk of implant failure.
So, how does smoking affect dental implants?
Smoking damages the surrounding gum and bone: cigarette smoke causes dryness inside the mouth, and since saliva is responsible for cleansing the mouth of bacteria, this can result in decay and disease. In turn, this weakens the bone and gums that support your implant.
The nicotine in cigarettes slows healing and impairs immunity: nicotine restricts the flow of oxygen and blood to your oral tissue and bone, resulting in slower healing capacity and a more vulnerable immune system.
Tobacco and nicotine prevent your jawbone from fusing with the implant: the lack of blood flow and oxygen can also result in failed osseointegration (when the jawbone and implant fuse together), jeopardising your overall dental implants treatment.
To give yourself the best possible chance of undergoing a successful healing period after dental implants surgery, we strongly recommend refraining from using tobacco products.
If you feel you need some support in abstaining from tobacco products, please don’t hesitate to let your oral surgeon here in Bristol know. They will be able to point you in the direction of professional services who can help you on your journey to a smoke-free life.
What about cigarettes and bone grafts?
In order to be eligible for a dental implant, patients must have enough healthy bone to support the implant. It’s possible to build healthy bone with a procedure called a bone graft, which uses your own bone, donor bone or synthetic bone to achieve this. Cigarettes can adversely affect the healing process after a bone graft, making dental implants a non-viable option. We understand that not everyone is capable of quitting smoking for good. However, we strongly recommend stopping smoking completely for healing period after bone graft surgery.
How can I take care of my dental implants if I’m a smoker?
If you do continue to smoke once your implant has healed, you will need to pay closer attention to your oral hygiene routine than a non-smoker who has received an implant. This is because smoking accelerates the progression of gum disease.
Just like real teeth, implants are affected by plaque and tartar. Overtime these substances can cause peri-implantitis, which is comparable to periodontal disease. As well as causing unpleasant symptoms like bleeding, soreness and general discomfort, peri-implantitis can trigger bone loss around the implant, causing eventual implant failure if left untreated.
To keep your risk of peri-implantitis and gum disease low after having dental implants treatment with us here in Bristol, be sure you are regimental with your oral hygiene routine, paying close attention to the area around the implant – this is where bacteria can collect and cause inflammation. If you’re unsure of how to get the best out of your brushing and flossing sessions, please don’t be afraid to ask us for advice on how to effectively clean around your implant. We’re not just here to treat patients, but to educate them too.
Will vaping affect my implant?
Today, vaping is perceived as being less harmful than smoking, but the long-term dangers remain relatively unknown, for now. However, what we do know is that vapes still contain nicotine and regardless of how this is administered into the body, it’s detrimental to healthy blood flow. This affects the soft tissues in the body, which will receive less oxygen and nutrients, just as they do when a person uses traditional cigarettes. What’s more, vaping can cause gum tissues to recede leaving teeth open to the possibility of advanced gum disease and decay.
If you’re looking to have a dental implant fitted in Bristol, choose The Bristol Dental Practice and receive excellent standards of care in a state-of-the-art practice environment. Did you know we offer free dental implant consultations with our Treatment coordinator? Book yours today and set yourself on the path to a healthier smile and better confidence levels.
We look forward to seeing you at our friendly and welcoming dental practice here in Bristol.