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  • Writer's pictureSheen Dental

The Serious Effects of Smoking on Dental Implants

No doubt you’re already aware of the harm that smoking can do, but what you might not be aware of is that it can lead to a whole host of oral issues too. Aside from aesthetic issues such as yellow teeth, it can cause other more serious problems. Because of this, if you decide to undertake surgery for dental implants in Richmond, then you really should look to quit smoking before the procedure takes place. Here’s why!

All of us have dental plaque in some form or another but when you smoke, the toxic substances contained in tobacco smoke can dramatically increase the amount of harmful bacteria found in your plaque. In addition smoking also has the ability to reduce blood flow, including that which is going to the gums. As the surrounding tissue isn’t receiving a good supply of blood, it’s far more likely to become inflamed and this can cause problems to the tissue located directly around the teeth, possibly resulting in loose teeth, or even tooth loss.

Another issue with smoking is that smokers are far more prone to the affects of gum disease. Although gum disease doesn’t just affect smokers, it’s often far more difficult to spot the early signs of the problem (bleeding gums) in those who do, because of decreased blood flow. As a result a smoker might not realise that there’s an issue and may not seek immediate treatment for it. This could allow the disease to go undetected and could easily develop into full blown gum disease.

So how does this affect undergoing treatment for a dental implant in Richmond?

Decreased blood flow

One of the aspects that’s absolutely vital to implant success is a process known as osseointegration. This is where surrounding bone tissue naturally merges and fuses with the titanium implant that’s secured into the jaw bone. This creates a strong and sturdy, self-supporting platform upon which to attach a dental crown. The problem is that reduced blood flow also means more of a risk that the osseointegration process may not take place effectively and in some cases it might not even occur at all. To put this into perspective a study carried out in Murcia, Spain back in 2007 showed that 15% of all dental implants performed on a total of 66 smokers failed. This was compared to just over 1% in those who don’t.

Increase in harmful bacteria

Dental implants may be super strong and long lasting but they have one Achilles heel, especially in the early days and this is that they are prone to attacks from bacteria. This is why it’s imperative to practice the highest levels of oral hygiene immediately after undergoing the implant process. As we’ve already stated that substances found in tobacco smoke can cause higher levels of bacteria, it’s easy to see that placing an implant in a smoker is a risky business.

The bottom line is that dental implants can and do change people’s lives for the better. So if you’re a smoker and you’re thinking of having dental implants in Richmond, then you need to seriously think about quitting. Contact Sheen Dental on 020 8876 5277 or visit our website at for further information on how dental implants can truly benefit you.


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