Reasons for Dental Implant Failure: Smoking
By Chetan Patil, DDS PhD on August 03, 2017
There are many oral health problems that can compromise the strength and function of the smile, but none more so than tooth loss. While many of the negative side effects of tooth loss are obvious, there are others that may not be as clear to patients. For instance, tooth loss can lead to bone loss and the deterioration of the jaw, which maintains the structure of the smile. The only restorative dentistry treatment to address this problem is dental implants.
Dental implants replace lost teeth from the crown down to the roots, ensuring that the teeth can function properly and healthy jawbone tissues continue to thrive. Dental implants are the most secure and durable tooth loss treatment. Unfortunately, there are many factors that can compromise the success of dental implant treatment. One of the leading reasons for dental implant failure is smoking. To learn more, contact our Englewood, NJ practice today.
How Smoking Can Affect the Success of Dental Implants
According to a Spanish study conducted over the span of five years, smoking leads to dental implant failure in nearly 16 percent of patients. While this number may not seem particularly high, the rate of dental implant failure in patients who don’t smoke is less than two percent.
So, what causes dental implant failure in those who smoke? According to researchers, there are two main reasons for dental implant failure in patients who smoke. First, those who smoke are more likely to develop an infection following dental implant treatment. Second, smokers have been shown to heal from dental implant treatment much more slowly than those who do not.
The main way in which smoking affects the success of dental implant treatment is by reducing blood flow in the mouth. When the body has gone through a surgical procedure, blood carries nutrients that promote healing. If blood flow is reduced, the surgical site, or in this case, the dental implant site, may not get all the nutrients that are needed for proper and timely healing. As a result, osseointegration, which is the process of the dental implant fusing with the jawbone, may not occur. Without osseointegration, dental implant treatment will not be a success.
Avoiding Dental Implant Failure
Because of the numerous health issues that have been connected to tobacco use, we always urge patients to take the steps necessary to eliminate this harmful habit. However, even if a person is not ready to give up smoking for good, it is vital that they refrain from smoking in the weeks before and after dental implant treatment. To avoid dental implant failure related to smoking, patients should refrain from smoking for at least two weeks prior to dental implant treatment and, preferably, until the mouth has completely healed from dental implant treatment.
Dental implants address tooth loss to improve oral functions, all while providing patients with a smile that looks naturally beautiful. If you’d like to learn more about the dental implant treatment process, contact us at your earliest convenience.
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