There’s little doubt as to whether your smoking habit can affect your dental implants. In fact, this is why most implant dentists will suggest that patients quit smoking for months prior to getting dental implants. The effects of smoking on your oral health create a very poor environment for this type of tooth replacement method. Here’s a closer look at how.
There’s actually a few ways that smoking jeopardizes dental implants. First, smoking causes the body to create fibrous tissues instead of bone tissue around the dental implant root. The implant must have strong bone to fully envelope the titanium post so that the implant can fuse and heal properly. Recent research suggests that nicotine may be what hinders differentiation of stem cells into bone cells during this process.
Nicotine is also a vasoconstrictor; meaning blood flow and oxygen are restricted from your oral tissues. This greatly inhibits your body’s ability to heal after an injury or surgery, such as getting dental implants. Remember that the healing process is a primary indicator of your overall implant success. Nicotine and tobacco use is also a leading cause of gum disease and tooth loss, which indirectly affects one’s candidacy for dental implants.
While there’s no proven studies yet, research suggests that e-cigarettes are just as harmful as traditional cigarettes when it comes to dental implants. In terms of nicotine, e-cigarettes are essentially just an alternative delivery system with the final result being the same. Blood flow is reduced to the implant site, which means osteocytes don’t get enough nutrients and oxygen to produce new bone.
If you are missing teeth, there’s no better time to quit smoking. Not only can you prevent further tooth loss, but you will qualify yourself for the most superior tooth replacement system available. By kicking your nicotine habit now, you’ll gain a brilliant smile and a healthier body in the future!