While it is true that receiving a dental implant is always a good thing when correcting issues in the teeth, it still has to be treated carefully. It has to be brushed and cleaned just like any other tooth.
More importantly, a patient who does receive such an implant must avoid smoking. The risks of smoking can be more dangerous to a dental implant than what they could be to the rest of the teeth.
The gums have to support a dental implant if the device is to stay in the area. However, smoking is known to keep the gums from being healthy:
- Smoking often weakens the gums by killing off important cells in the area. This is often known as periodontitis.
- Smoking may also wear out the base of the implant.
There are also some bone issues that may develop:
- The bones in the gums may wear out and die off after a while. This could keep the implant from staying in place.
- The implant may also loosen from the bone. This is often a problem that makes it hard for smokers to receive implants. This is especially the case when a patient attempts to take advantage of such devices.
- Any remaining bone structure in an area might become porous and more likely to become weak, thus keeping the base from actually working as well as it should.
Quitting Smoking May Help
Many dentists who provide patients with dental implant services will not allow smokers to receive these implants. However, they may encourage them to quit by referring them to particular programs dedicated to helping them quit. The bone loss and development of periodontitis will decline dramatically after a person quits smoking.
This is not to say that anyone who quits smoking will automatically be eligible for help. A person who does quit has to be properly analyzed before receiving an implant. A former smoker might be more likely to require a bone graft as well.
Smokers have to learn to quit if they are ever going to receive dental implants. They need to quit if their bones and gums are actually able to support the base of an implant. In addition, a patient must also avoid smoking well after the implant has been installed. It is all needed to protect the patient from further damages after the implant has been set up.