Millions of people every year lose teeth because of smoking. Are you one of them? Even if someone is diligent about daily brushing and flossing, this can unfortunately still happen. Thankfully, there are plenty of tooth replacement options available, like dental implants in Oklahoma City. However, if you’re considering getting dental implants, it’s best to quit smoking beforehand. Here are a few reasons why.
It Slows Down the Oral Healing Processes
The nicotine in tobacco restricts blood flow in the mouth, hindering the healing process. This means that if you smoke, it will take significantly longer for you to recover from dental implant surgery.
People who smoke are two to three times more likely to develop gum disease compared to nonsmokers. Gum disease can increase your chances of implant failure because the bacterial infection in the gum tissue may cause your body to reject the implant.
Bone and Tissue Loss
According to recent research, there is a definite link between tobacco use and loss of bone density and oral tissue. These losses mean you won’t have enough jawbone mass and gum tissue to support your dental implant, increasing the risk that your dental implants in OKC will fail.
Tooth loss is significantly more likely in smokers than in people who don’t smoke. This is because smoking introduces all kinds of harmful bacteria in your mouth which attack the structures keeping your teeth anchored in your gums. When you lose even more teeth as a result of smoking, your jawbone begins to lose density, increasing the risk that it won’t be able to support the implants you already have.
Osseointegration is the process by which your jawbone grows around the dental implant over a period of a few months after placement. Studies have shown that smoking severely slows down this process, so much so that osseointegration can even be a complete failure.
Just because you’re a smoker doesn’t mean that you can never get dental implants placed. However, be aware that it does come with all of these risks. Your dentist in Oklahoma City may suggest quitting smoking for a few weeks before implant placement and remaining smoke-free until osseointegration is complete. In fact, if you have been looking for a reason to kick the habit, getting dental implants would certainly be a great one to choose.
About the Author
Dr. Joe Isaacson is a 1993 graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. Later that same year, he opened his Oklahoma City dental practice and hasn’t looked back. He has undergone advanced training to be able to perform the entire dental implant process under one roof without having to refer you to an outside specialist. If you’re interested in getting dental implants, or if you need help quitting smoking, you can contact Dr. Isaacson’s office at (405) 943-8575.