The effects of Smoking on Dental Implants
According to a recent survey carried out by Ash. Org there are over 12 million people in the UK who smoke and whilst it’s fair to say that the effects on our overall health are well documented, what isn’t so well known are the effects on our dental health. As a smoker, if you’re considering undergoing surgery for dental implants in Richmond for example, then the chances are that unless you quit smoking you’re likely to be turned down. This also goes for any other clinic up and down the country. This isn’t because of a persecution against smokers, but instead it’s because smoking poses a large risk to the success of the whole implantation process and that’s a risk that no dental implant clinic is willing to take. So why is smoking so problematic?
Slows down bone growth The success or failure of a dental implant hinges upon a process known as osseointegration. This is a process where bone tissue from the jaw fuses and merges with the titanium rod or post that’s placed into it. This happens over time and ultimately creates a super-strong platform upon which to attach the prosthetic porcelain crown. Research however has shown that certain chemicals in tobacco smoke (thought to be nicotine) drastically slow down the body’s ability to regenerate bone growth and in those that smoke heavily there is a chance that the bone tissue won’t regenerate at all.
Accelerated bone degeneration
In addition smoking can go one step further and actually accelerate bone degeneration. When a tooth is missing it’s normal for the bone tissue to start to recede. This starts to happen pretty soon after the tooth is missing. Eventually it can undermine surrounding healthy teeth causing further problems down the line. In those who don’t smoke, bone degeneration is a reasonably slow process, but in smokers this is accelerated. As healthy and plentiful bone is needed to secure the implant into, a rapid degeneration of the bone isn’t good news and although bone grafts can be carried out, in smokers it can be very risky as to whether the graft will take or not.
In recent years there have also been findings that link smoking with gum disease. Although smoking isn’t the direct cause of periodontitis per se, it does pose a significant risk factor, especially as implants have to be placed into a healthy mouth to be given the best chances of success. As a result, it’s clear that any potential patient suffering with gum disease will have to get this problem dealt with firstly, before any attempt at dental implants can happen.
The reality is that if you want dental implants then it’s advisable to quit smoking. Here at Sheen Dental we fully understand that for many people, stopping isn’t that easy. Therefore we suggest that if a smoker is looking for dental implants in Richmond, then they need to stop smoking before surgery and at the very least sustain it through the vital recovery process which can take up to 9 months. If you need further information on smoking and how it affects dental implants then feel free to contact us on 020 8876 5277 or visit our website at www.sheendental.co.uk to book your free, no-obligation consultation today.