If you have one or more missing teeth and want an implant-supported restoration to restore your smile, you must quit smoking first. Vaping, smoking cigarettes, and using other tobacco products can slow implant healing and increase the potential of infection during and after treatment. Dental implants are a part of the restorative dental treatments we offer in Hampton Roads, VA. It’s important to care for your smile through the implant process. Here, we will review the effects of nicotine on the smile throughout implant treatment.
Smoking and Dental Implants in Hampton Roads, VA
There are multiple problems that patients can encounter during implant treatment if they smoke or use tobacco products:
Gum and Tooth Infections
As with other oral surgeries, implant treatment requires incisions that require sufficient healing. Treated areas of the smile need to be kept clean to prevent infection. Tobacco use can increase the risk of infection because it can cause dry mouth and attract harmful bacteria to the mouth that cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Osseointegration is a part of implant healing. During the osseointegration process, the titanium implant post or anchor gradually fuses with the jawbone beneath the gums, creating a stable foundation for restorations. Patients should not smoke or use tobacco products during osseointegration because tobacco restricts the blood vessels. As a result, insufficient blood flow to the bone and gum tissue slows healing.
While dental implants have a high success rate, problems like gum disease and tooth decay can lead to implant failure. Patients who have healed implants but develop gum or tooth infections later on due to tobacco use may notice their implants shifting because the infection has impacted the surrounding supportive tissue.
Even if you do not smoke during your implant treatment, you can still experience problems if you start again following your treatment. Peri-implantitis is an infection that occurs when harmful bacteria surround the implant’s base and impact the surrounding gums and bone. Patients who develop Peri-implantitis can experience gum pain, loose implants, pus discharge surrounding the implant. Smokers can develop peri-implantitis because of bacterial buildup in their mouth and restricted blood flow to the tissues that support implant anchors.
If you quit smoking, vaping, or using tobacco products, you will see a huge difference in your oral health. Tobacco and nicotine impact implants and increase the risk of bacterial buildup on the natural teeth and gums.
Get your smile back with dental implant treatment. Call our Hampton Roads, VA office for a consultation today at 757.414.7227. You may also request a dental appointment with Dr. William Harper online. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about your candidacy for implant treatment or what you can do to make your implant treatment more successful.